associative learning


: a learning process in which discrete ideas and percepts become linked to one another

Examples of associative learning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Notably, researchers propose associative learning as a critical mechanism in the development of synesthetic experiences, highlighting that synesthesia can potentially be learned through appropriate training procedures. Mark Travers, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 But not many experiments have demonstrated associative learning in simple animals such as jellyfish, says Ken Cheng, an animal behaviorist at Macquarie University in Australia who was not involved in the new research but wrote a commentary on it for the same issue of Current Biology. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 22 Sep. 2023 These experiments provide evidence that box jellyfish are capable of associative learning, or the process of linking two unrelated stimuli together. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 In 2021 Cheng published a review of learning in Cnidaria—a group that includes jellyfish, corals, sea anemones, and more—and found only a handful of studies that tested for associative learning, all of which were on sea anemones. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 22 Sep. 2023 By contrast, however, vocal learning did not appear to be linked to the other cognitive abilities measured, such as self-control and associative learning. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Sep. 2023 But apparently, that's enough to perform associative learning, the sort most often (forgive me) associated with Ivan Pavlov. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 22 Mar. 2023 Monica Gagliano, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Western Australia, thought her experiment on associative learning in plants wasn’t working. Marta Zaraska, Discover Magazine, 18 Apr. 2017 The cognitive tests used in this study consisted of three tasks designed to quantify associative learning, reversal learning, and inhibitory control (Figure 1). Grrlscientist, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2022 See More

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Word History

First Known Use

1905, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of associative learning was in 1905

Dictionary Entries Near associative learning

Cite this Entry

“Associative learning.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition

associative learning

: a learning process in which discrete ideas and percepts which are experienced together become linked to one another compare paired-associate learning

More from Merriam-Webster on associative learning

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