Training Pupils to Dilate on Cue Research Paper

Presents an original experiment of training pupils of subjects to dilate on cue through classical conditioning based on the experiment by Pavlov.
# 151387 | 2,975 words | 10 sources | APA | 2005 | US
Published on Jun 10, 2012 in Psychology (Experimental) , Psychology (Physiological) , Psychology (Theory)

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This paper reviews Pavlov's famous studies on a salivating dog, which demonstrates that any innate reflexes can be classically conditioned to neutral stimuli repeatedly paired with innate stimuli. To observe how classical conditioning occurs, ceases and spontaneously recovers and to test Pavlov's assumption on the importance of the order of introducing the stimuli, the author describes, in detail, her own experiment that included the conditioning of two subjects, male and female, so that their pupils dilated at the sound of a bell in the absence of darkness by repeatedly associating the sound of a bell with darkness. The paper concludes that, although the effect of the order of stimuli needs further research, the result of this experiment generally supports Pavlov's theory.

Table of Contents:
Introduction to Pavlov

From the Paper:

"The subjects entered the room where the light was on one at a time. The bell and the handheld mirror were positioned on a small table near the light switch so that the subjects would be able to reach them easily and quickly. Once in the room, the subjects held the bell carefully not to accidentally ring it, and stood or sat near the light switch. Once getting comfortable in position, the subjects rang the bell once and then immediately turned off the light. The subjects waited in the total darkness counting to 15, and then turned the light back on. The subjects again waited while counting to 15 with the light on this time. The subjects repeated this procedure 30 times, making sure to turn off the light immediately after the bell was rung in each trial. Then, after the 30th trial, the subjects watched their eyes closely in the mirror with the light on, and rang the bell to see if their pupils dilated even without the darkness.
"Both of the subjects engaged in normal activities indoors after confirming that conditioning of the pupils was achieved. They, then, periodically watched their eyes in the mirror under the light while ringing the bell for thirty minutes to one hour to determine if extinction had occurred."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ha, R. R. (2000). Three major types of learning. Retrieved from
  • Huitt, W. & Hummel, J. (1997). Classical conditioning. Retrieved from
  • Kantowitz, B. H., Roediger, H. L. III, & Elmes, D. G. (2000). Experimental psychology (7th). CA: Wadsworth.
  • Mendel. (n.d.). Pavlov tells it like it is. Retrieved from
  • OPA. (1998). Yale Scientist Identifies Key Brain Structure that Blocks Learning In Some Cases of Pavlovian Conditioning. Retrieved from

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Training Pupils to Dilate on Cue (2012, June 10) Retrieved September 30, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Training Pupils to Dilate on Cue" 10 June 2012. Web. 30 September. 2022. <>