Context and conditioning: A place for space

Lynn Nadel, Jeffrey Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

235 Scopus citations


Notions about the influence of environmental context on behavior are briefly reviewed and criticized. In contrast to the traditional view that a context is merely a compound CS, to be treated in learning theory in much the same way as simple CSs, we propose that contexts are superordinate to such CSs. Within this hierarchical relation, a context both contains and predicts CSs. This approach to environmental context derives from cognitive map theory (O’Keefe & Nadel, 1978), and predictions based on that theory and the present extension are offered for several conditioning paradigms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiological Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Context and conditioning: A place for space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this