Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Associations and Rewards in the Auditory Cortex

  • Michael BroschEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_105-5


In psychology, the term association refers to a connection between different elementary mental entities (sensations, thoughts, feelings; Dudai 2002). Aside from innate, reflex-like associations, novel associations are typically acquired during learning. In Pavlovian/classical conditioning, a stimulus-stimulus association is formed by repetitively pairing an initially neutral stimulus with a biologically significant unconditioned stimulus that automatically triggers an unconditioned behavioral response. In instrumental/operant conditioning, a stimulus-response association is formed in the presence of reinforcers. Reinforcers can be either positive, such as water, food, money, and brain stimulation reward, and result in an increase in the probability of a response to the stimulus. Negative reinforcers (e.g., footshocks, airpuffs, money loss) decrease the probability of a response to the stimulus. If the reinforcer is removed, the learned associations risk extinction.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for NeurobiologyMagdeburgGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rodica Curtu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA