From a functional perspective, Pavlovian conditioning involves learning about conditioned stimuli (CSs) that have a pre-existing relation to an unconditioned stimulus (US) rather than learning about arbitrary or neutral CSs. In addition, the most important product of learning involves changes in how the organism responds to the US, not in how it responds to the CS, because the US is the more biologically relevant stimulus. These concepts are illustrated using examples from a variety of behavioral and physiological situations including caloric intake and digestion, breast feeding, poison-avoidance learning, eyeblink conditioning, sexual conditioning, fear conditioning, aggression, and drug tolerance and sensitization.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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