Latent inhibition is an exquisitely simple, robust and pervasive behavioural phenomenon - the reduced ability of an organism to learn new associations to previously inconsequential stimuli. It has been demonstrated in a variety of animals, including humans, across many different learning tasks. The ease of demonstrating the latent inhibition effect, on the one hand, is matched by the difficulty of incorporating it into contemporary conditioning and learning theories, on the other.
R. E. Lubow offers a complete survey of the basic data that comprise the latent inhibition effect and a review of theories that attempt to explain it. He then elaborates his own Conditioned Attention Theory and derives applications for learned helplessness and schizophrenia. A wide range of experimental psychologists and neuroscientists will find this a stimulating and useful book for themselves and their students.
Although not written with an elegant touch for language, it is a history of the research on and theory of this important phenomenon and is one that will become dog-eared on my shelf as I routinely refer to it during my own research and writing. Michael Best, Contemporary Psychology
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