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Medical Latent inhibition v. negative priming

  1. Aug 19, 2005 #1

    honestrosewater

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    Can anyone explain the difference between latent inhibition and negative priming - in the context of psychology and learning, not neurobiology? I can't find much information on either, but I can hazard a definition of latent inhibition: when pre-exposure to a non-reinforced stimulus retards the subsequent learning of associations.? I gather that latent inhibition is observed in several species; Is negative priming only relevant for humans?
     
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  3. Aug 19, 2005 #2

    arildno

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    For those of us incognizant of either term, might you post a couple of examples illustrating them?
     
  4. Aug 19, 2005 #3

    honestrosewater

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    Well, that's part of the problem: I don't understand precisely what either of them are, and I can't really distnguish between them.

    I think LI is strictly used in the context of conditioning, so an easy example might be two groups of dogs; the pre-exposed group is exposed to the sound of a certain bell in neutral situations; the control group is not. The bell is then paired with the their food (which normally causes salivation), and it takes the pre-exposed group longer for the sound of the bell alone to cause salivation.

    The negative priming effect is harder. Perhaps one group of people is presented with a picture of a large crowd of people and told to count the number of women wearing sunglasses; the control group is not. Both groups are then asked to find the person wearing green pants, who is a man, and the control group finds this person faster, presumably because the other group was primed to ignore the men. I may very well be wrong about this though.

    Okay, I found a site that gives some examples: http://www.lexcie.zetnet.co.uk/psych-latent-inhibit.htm
     
  5. Aug 19, 2005 #4

    arildno

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    Ookay:
    I must say that I am very dubious as to whether "latent inhibition" is in any way a term that accurately describes what happens here.

    After all, the pre-exposed group have already LEARNT that the signal can mean TWO things; namely, nothing or food.
    The non-exposed group only learns that the signal is connected to food.

    The pre-exposed group has therefore more complex expectations than the non-exposed group, and needs to make certain that the prior situation where the signal meant nothing is now irrevocably a thing of the past.

    I really can't see this as a form of reduced learning capacity in the pre-exposed group.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2005 #5

    honestrosewater

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    And the same thing seems to be at work in negative priming - the stimulus is marked as something that can be ignored and is then at least initially ignored when it becomes the intended target.
     
  7. Aug 19, 2005 #6

    arildno

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    Well, I admit I'm rather biased towards the psychological/psychiatric professions, but I find this a typical example of how they dismiss a simple, down-to-earth explanation (without even discussing it!) that fits the facts in order to make room for an abstruse theory of arcane psychological mechanisms.
    I've read some of their stuff before, and frankly, I am very skeptical as to whether the bulk of the work can be classified as scientific.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2005 #7

    honestrosewater

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    Oh, do you think latent is being used to mean not accessible or available to consciousness? I think it's meant to mean dormant or not yet demonstrated. For instance, latent learning is the term for learning that occurs without an immediate change in behavior, i.e., the organism's knowledge lies dormant until there is some reason to use it. For instance, you happen to learn how to change a tire by seeing your parents do it, but you don't demonstrate this knowledge until you get a flat tire by yourself. At least, I think that's what it means. I'm not studying psychology; I just happen to be interested in latent inhibition and conditioning for personal reasons.
     
  9. Aug 19, 2005 #8

    arildno

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    From what I know, that's the basic use of the word "latent".
    I know of it from the concept of "latent homosexuality" in contrast to "manifest homosexuality".

    Dreams, desires, thoughts and so on (i.e conscious material) are manifest; latency expresses the capacity to experience such, whether or not one actually have experienced it.

    In this sense, latent learning would be learning you don't know you've actually got, I think.
     
  10. Aug 20, 2005 #9
    LI, NP, cognitive inhibition, and the associative gradient

    Eysenck (in his 1995 book Genius) says they are closely related and that they are defined by their respective experimental paradigms. The reason they are not the same thing is that 1) the tests for each are different from each other 2) the theories that were developed to explain the results of each of those tests are different from each other, respectively. To say that they are related implies that they both load strongly on a particular factor general to both and that they both load weakly on factors specific to each test.

    We might call the strong common factor the associative gradient, or the associative horizon. People who test high on latent inhibition or on negative priming tend to have steep associative gradients (= narrow associative horizon) and tend to be uncreative, prone to prejudice, and at low risk for psychosis spectrum disorders. People who test low on latent inhibition or on negative priming tend to have steep associative gradients (= broad associative horizon), tend to be creative, not prone to prejudice, and at high risk for psychosis spectrum disorders.

    We also might call the common factor cognitive inhibition, and that therefore both NP tests and LI tests are tests of cognitive inhibition.

    From page 249 of Genius:

    --
    Negative priming may be defined in terms of the experimental paradigm in which a distractor object which has previously been ignored is subsequently re-presented as the target object....

    As a typical defining experiment we may cite the Stroop colour naming task, in which a color word (e.g. RED) is presented, written in green ink. The task is to disregard the word and call out the colour of the ink. If now the next word is printed in red ink, the response of normal subjects is significantly slowed; in other words, the to-be-ignored word RED has acquired negative salience which inhibits cognition associated with it. Hence the term 'negative priming'; the irrelevant stimulus word acts as a prime for later recognition and meaning, but negatively so — it partly inhibits such reaction.
    --


    From page 251 of Genius:

    --
    Latent inhibition is defined by an experimental paradigm which requires, as a minimum, a two-stage procedure. The first stage involves stimulus pre-exposure; i.e. the to-be CS (conditioned stimulus) is exhibited without being followed by any unconditioned stimulus (UCS); this leads theoretically to the CS acquiring a negative salience, i.e. it signals a lack of consequences, and thus acquires inhibitory properties. The second stage is one of acquisition, i.e. the CS is now followed by a UCS, and acquires the property of initiating the UC response (UCR). Latent inhibition (LI) is shown by increasing difficulties of acquiring this property, as compared with lack of pre-exposure. With humans, there is a masking task during pre-exposure to the CS. For instance, the masking task might be the presentation of syllable pairs orally, while the CS might be a white noise super-imposed on the syllable reproduction. The LI group would be exposed to this combined recording, while the control group would be exposed only to the syllable pairs, without the white noise. In the test phase the white noise is reinforced, and subjects given scores according to how soon they discover the rule linking CS with reinforcement. LI would be indicated by the group having the pre-exposure of the white noise discovering the rule later than the control group....

    Is it possible to classify negative priming as a variant of latent inhibition. There are obvious similarities.
    --


    So, negative priming is priming that tells you something is to be actively ignored (because it is not just irrelevant, it is seriously distracting), and latent inhibiting is priming that tells you something is to be passively ignored (because it is not very distracting, but just simply irrelevant). In the former you have to work to develop the inhibition to the stimulus, and in the latter the inhibition comes upon you passively. In the former you learn to be prejudiced against something, and in the latter you learn to be ignorant of something.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2005
  11. Aug 20, 2005 #10

    honestrosewater

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    :surprised Someone wrote a book about me?!


    Couldn't resist. I'll post a serious comment soon. o:)
     
  12. Aug 20, 2005 #11
  13. Aug 20, 2005 #12

    honestrosewater

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    :rofl:

    I'm still having trouble thinking of a negative priming example, but I know better what to look for now. Thanks. :smile:
     
  14. Aug 23, 2005 #13
    That second sentence should say, of course, "People who test low on latent inhibition or on negative priming tend to have flat associative gradients (= broad associative horizon)".
     
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