peak shift

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A phenomenon of discrimination learning, when an animal has learnt to distinguish between a positive and a negative stimulus lying on the same stimulus dimension, such as light stimulus associated with reward and a dark stimulus not associated with reward. If the animal is then tested with a variety of stimuli spanning the stimulus dimension (in this example, stimuli of various shades of lightness), it responds maximally not to the original positive stimulus but to a stimulus further from the negative stimulus (a stimulus even lighter than the original positive stimulus).

Subjects: Psychology.

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