Power of the Conditioned Emotional Response: Part 2 - Karen Pryor Clicker Training
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Power of the Conditioned Emotional Response: Part 2

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Lindsay Wood - Reno 2016



This is the second of a two-part presentation. Those interested in this topic are encouraged to watch both halves.

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 at the scent 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, Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Lynchburg Humane Society and a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, discusses first how to recognize animals' emotional responses, and second how to see and harness opportunities to create new emotional reactions.

Lindsay explains how to use the clicker to condition powerful and desirable CERs, in the shelter environment and in everyday scenarios at home. She also examines how to use the power of the CER to modify behaviors rooted in fear, anxiety, and some types of aggression.

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