Antecedent (behavioral psychology)
An antecedent is a stimulus that cues an organism to perform a learned behavior. When an organism perceives an antecedent stimulus, it behaves in a way that maximizes reinforcing consequences and minimizes punishing consequences.
Antecedent stimuli that have been paired with reinforcing consequences activate centers of the brain involved in motivation, while antecedents that have been paired with punishing consequences activate brain centers involved in fear.
- Yin, Henry H., Sean B. Ostlund, and Bernard W. Balleine. "Reward-guided learning beyond dopamine in the nucleus accumbens: the integrative functions of cortico-basal ganglia networks." European Journal of Neuroscience 28.8 (2008): 1437–1448.
- Killcross, S., Robbins, T. W., & Everitt, B. J. (1997). Different types of fear-conditioned behaviour mediated by separate nuclei within amygdala. Nature, 388(6640), 377-380.
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