The Orienting Response: Index of Attention

  • Ronald A. Cohen


The orienting response (OR) is a fundamental element of classical conditioning. For Pavlov, it provided a means of determining whether a stimulus could serve as a CR. The OR eventually became the focus of much interest in its own right, as it reflected the animal’s initial overt reaction to a new, soon-to-be-conditioned stimulus. Stimuli that have little inherent salience elicit an OR before conditioning. Pavlov referred to this as a “what is it” reflex. The OR signals an observable attentional reaction before learning. For this reason, the OR has considerable relevance to the study of attention.


Condition Stimulus Stimulus Intensity Neural System Neuronal Model Spontaneous Recovery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry and AgingGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive Aging and MemoryUniversity of Florida College of MedicineGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Warren Alpert School of MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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