CA Conditioning

Conditioning is a vital mechanism by which organisms interpret the environment. Psychology regards it as a process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to associate a desired behavior with a previously unrelated stimulus.

Conditioning  was discovered by
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, who studied salivation physiology in dogs. Salivation is induced whenever the dog smells or sniffs food.  In an experiment Pavlov rang a bell when feeding the dogs with meat and measured the amount of saliva. After two weeks of training he rang the bell without feeding the dogs, and the animals salivated as if they were sniffing meat.

CA behavior

The previous experiment showed a CA  moving around in a search for resources. Finally it hit upon an obstacle which provided them. In order to interact the observer had to raise the input a bit  whereupon the CA stopped moving and remained there. The CA aim was to maximize resources.

CA mood or satisfaction was manifested by its behavior. When hungry it lost weight (shrunk) and moved faster. When interacting with the obstacle it gained weight and stopped moving.  Observing the experiment we might have  concluded that the obstacle triggered  CA behavior.

CA Conditioning

The present experiment demonstrates  how a CA is conditioned by the obstacle. Like in the previous experiment, the CA moves around (input > 0), searches  for resources, and encounters  the obstacle. It then accumulates resources, yet when overweight it dies, and is replaced by a zygote. The same fate awaits the newly born, and the CA soon dies. However when a zygote is formed, CA output is raised a bit, and when output  >  input the CA leaves its prison. It is small and hungry but free and will not interact with the obstacle.

With time the CA forgets its traumatic experience, (output declines)  and when input > output it is ready to interact with the obstacle and be conditioned.

Please consider the following:

- When conditioned, the CA remembered its trauma. It learned not to grow above a certain size. This memory was embodied in the entire CA.
- The obstacle served as a trigger. It shaped the CA memory.
Further reading:
Memory of a complex system
Will and Imagination


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