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Cardiac Classical Conditioning and Reversal in the Mongoloid, Encephalopathic, and Normal Child

James D. Block, Eugene A. Sersen and Joseph Wortis
Child Development
Vol. 41, No. 3 (Sep., 1970), pp. 771-785
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127223
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127223
Page Count: 15
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Cardiac Classical Conditioning and Reversal in the Mongoloid, Encephalopathic, and Normal Child
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Abstract

Classically conditioned cardiac discrimination and reversal was observed in retarded and normal children. During initial conditioning (10 stimulus pairs) only the oldest normal group (6-11 yrs) evidenced significant stimulus discrimination. During subsequent reversal (10 stimulus pairs), both the oldest and an intermediate normal group (4-6 yrs) evidenced significant discrimination. Mongoloid children (4-11 yrs) and the youngest Normal group (2-4 yrs) evidenced no consistent cardiac discrimination. Encephalopathic children (6-11 yrs) evidenced significant discrimination during reversal, but in a manner inappropriate to the reinforcement contingencies. This behavior, unique in both CA and MA comparisons of encephalopathics with mongoloids and normals, may be related to a somewhat impaired conditioning and a more greatly impaired extinction process, or to a deficit in the Pavlovian postulated process of CNS mobility.

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