[Neuroscience] Conditioning and consciousness

Majid Beshkar via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by majid.beshkar from yahoo.com)
Thu Oct 26 14:33:31 EST 2006

It is widely believed that implicit learning (including classical and operant conditioning) does not depend on conscious awareness. However, it seems that if an animal is to learn something through conditioning, it should be able to remember past events of the same kind--that is it needs retrieval of episodic memory which is not possible in the absence of consciousness. It follows that, in contrast to the widely held idea, associative conditioning requires conscious awareness and is not possible in unconscious animals. If this argument is reasonable, why it is stated in neuroscience textbooks that implicit learning does not depend on conscious awareness? Do you know any case of associative conditioning occurring in an unconscious animal?
  Thanks for your reply,
  Majid Beshkar

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