The concept of sensitization has a long history in psychology, and on both empirical and logical grounds it has been argued that sensitization and conditioning denote different neurophysiological processes. Investigators have devised elaborate control procedures that purport to differentiate sensitized and conditioned responses. But, mainly on logical grounds, it is argued that there is no valid basis for considering sensitization and conditioning as separate processes. A theory of learning is proposed in which sensitization is the basic construct.
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Research sponsored by a grant from the NICHD (HD-NS 09119).