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The University of Southampton
Psychology

Research project: Elemental and configural processes

Currently Active: 
Yes

Associative learning theories are concerned with the mechanisms that underlie the capacity of animals (including humans) to learn about the relationships between stimuli that occur in their environments. This capacity is fundamental to everyday functioning since it allows prediction of environmental events and selection of appropriate behaviours. Drs Glautier and Redhead are involved with a number of projects that address the question of how complex stimuli are processed by the learning mechanism.

The sum of the parts?
The sum of the parts?

For example, does the learning mechanism process each stimulus events as a number of discrete elements or are the elements combined and processed as a whole configuration? Is the pattern of dots shown on the left learned about as a whole pattern or broken down into two separate parts, examples of which are given in the centre and right?

Related research groups

Centre for Perception and Cognition (CPC)
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