Occasion setting.

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Occasion setting refers to the ability of 1 stimulus, an occasion setter, to modulate the efficacy of the association between another, conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) or reinforcer. Occasion setters and simple CSs are readily distinguished. For example, occasion setters are relatively immune to extinction and counterconditioning, and their combination and transfer functions differ substantially from those of simple CSs. Similarly, the acquisition of occasion setting is favored when stimuli are separated by longer intervals, by empty trace intervals, and are of different modalities, whereas the opposite conditions typically favor the acquisition of simple associations. Furthermore, the simple conditioning and occasion setting properties of a single stimulus can be independent, for example, that stimulus may simultaneously predict the occurrence of a reinforcer and indicate that another stimulus will not be reinforced. Many behavioral phenomena that are intractable to simple associative analysis are better understood within an occasion setting framework. Besides capturing the distinction between direct and modulatory control common to many arenas in neuroscience, occasion setting provides a model for the hierarchical organization of memory for events and event relations, and for contextual control more broadly. Although early lesion studies further differentiated between occasion setting and simple conditioning functions, little is known about the neurobiology of occasion setting. Modern techniques for precise manipulation and monitoring of neuronal activity in multiple brain regions are ideally suited for disentangling contributions of simple conditioning and occasion setting in associative learning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)