In this situation, the key is the conditional stimulus (CS) bcoz as result of its training while the food is unconditional stimulus (UCS). The response of McCat toward the sound of key known as conditional response (CR) while response toward food called as unconditional response (UCR). In this situation McCat has learned to associate the key with the food. When he hearing the key, he began by orienting to the key, licking his lips and salivating. This CR is same as UCR as McCat treat the key as food.
The presentation of food (UCS) following the key (CS) is regarded as reinforcer. An reinforcer can strengthen any response in the present of any external stimulus which in this case is the key. Pairing of CS and UCS lead to the formation of association between them. The CS become substitute for the UCS and become capable of eliciting the response normally elicited by the UCS. The CR occur bcoz it follow by reward that is in this case, food.
Say, if I making the key sound (CS) but not giving food to McCat, the response toward the key sound later will gradually disappear and this phenomena called extinction where McCat no longer response to the key sound. But when the key pair again with food, the CR will reappear again much more rapidly than previous condition. This type of learning behaviour known as classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning.
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Another type of learning behaviour is instrumental learning. This type of learning is occur by trial, error and accidental success. For example, I hiding a food in a cabinet, and McCat be able to smell it and he wandering in front of the cupboard to get the food inside. McCat shows number of activities including scratching the cabinet door and eventually he accidentally pull the cabinet door and get the food. Later, when I hide the food again inside the cabinet, he becomes concentrated progressively in the region of the door and other activities gradually cease. Finally, McCat is able to perform the correct behaviour as soon as food is hide in the cabinet.
Understanding the basis concept of animal learning behaviour will help you to train your cat in correct way. The important thing to remember when trying to train a cat, is that they are not humans, they do not understand Malay (or any other language for that matter!), they do however learn by repetition and experience. So you really have to be patient ok!