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Stimulus Equivalence as a Function of Training Protocol in a Connectionist Network

Author(s): Fiona Lyddy | Dermot Barnes-Holmes

Journal: Journal of Speech and Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis
ISSN 1932-4731

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: stimulus equivalence | training design | connectionism.

Previous research on stimulus equivalence has demonstrated an advantage for one-to-many training protocols over linear procedures when training subjects using a matching-to-sample (MTS) task. In the current study, the relative merits of these training designs were explored in a connectionist simulation of a MTS procedure. Following minimal pre-training, a network was exposed to a series ofconditional discrimination-type tasks using a linear or one-to-many training protocol. Following training to criterion, equivalence performance was assessed. The results showed a detrimental effectof linear series training, with substantially more training required to reach criterion performance and subsequent failure to demonstrate equivalence. By contrast equivalence was readily demonstrated using a one-to-many procedure. Possible explanations for this pattern are addressed from a connectionist perspective and application to the human context is discussed.

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