Behavioral and Brain Sciences

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2009), 32:201-202 Cambridge University Press
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Open Peer Commentary

What's reason got to do with it? Affect as the foundation of learning

Eliza Bliss-Moreaua1 and Lisa Feldman Barretta2a3

a1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, California National Primate Research Center, University of California–Davis, Davis, CA 95616
a2 Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 www2.bc/edu/~barretli
a3 Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129
Article author query
bliss-moreau e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
barrett lf [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]


We propose that learning has a top-down component, but not in the propositional terms described by Mitchell et al. Specifically, we propose that a host of learning processes, including associative learning, serve to imbue the representation of the conditioned stimulus (CS) with affective meaning.

The propositional nature of human associative learning Chris J. Mitchell, Jan De Houwer and Peter F. Lovibond School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia; Department of Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium">; School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia">