Power of the Conditioned Emotional Response
This Session is divided into two 45-minute parts with a 15-minute break between halves. Attendees interested in this topic are encouraged to attend both halves of the Session.
A conditioned emotional response (CER) is a classically conditioned response to a specific circumstance. We have all experienced conditioned emotional responses ranging from elation when the recess bell rang in school to anxiety faced with the smell of the dentist's office.
Animals develop CERs all the time. For example, many dogs develop CERs to the leash being clipped on, to car keys jingling, or to the sound of the refrigerator door opening.
Can you create new CERs deliberately? Lindsay Wood Brown, Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Lynchburg Humane Society and a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, will discuss first how to recognize animals' emotional responses, and second how to see and harness opportunities to create new emotional reactions.
Lindsay will explain how to use the clicker to condition powerful and desirable CERs, in the shelter environment and in everyday scenarios at home. Attendees will also learn about using the power of the CER to modify behaviors rooted in fear, anxiety, and some types of aggression.
Part 1 will focus on the relevant science and background information:
- Affective neuroscience and cognition
- Animal behavior and how to recognize an emotional response
Part 2 will focus on how to use the knowledge gained in Part 1:
- Links between neuroscience, ethology, and learning
- Animal learning
- Exploring the questions of can we and how do we change emotional responses
- Implications and applications