Understanding the Bridging Stimulus

Understanding the Bridging Stimulus

A question I am frequently asked is “Why didn’t you bridge?” Which may be more accurately interpreted as why didn’t I use a clicker, a whistle or say a word such as “good”? In reality there is a bridging stimulus, however it is not what people traditionally identify as that signal. The bridging stimulus is a tool for communication that is widely misunderstood. It is often singled out and separated as a specific entity that a trainer must identify and utilize in order to be successful. This presentation will explore what animals may be using as information that indicates reinforcers are forthcoming. It will also explain situations in which a bridging stimulus can be beneficial, unnecessary and at times detrimental to the training process. You will also discover appropriate as well as some creative applications of the bridging stimulus to improve training. This presentation will also clarify why some concepts described as intermediate bridges, terminal bridges and keep going signals are not necessary. Numerous video presentations will help you gain a deeper understanding of the bridging stimulus.

Barbara Heidenreich

Barbara Heidenreich is an animal training consultant specializing in exotic animals. She consults worldwide working with zoos, universities, veterinary professionals, and conservation projects. She has worked with over 80 facilities in 27 countries. She is an adjunct instructor at Texas A & M University. She has produced seven DVDs, authored two books and contributed to four veterinary textbooks. She is a co- author of the Fear Free® Avian Certification Course. Much of her work focuses on training exotic species to cooperate in medical care. She operates the online education program www.AnimalTrainingFundamentals.com. Barbara is an advisor for the Animal Training Working Group and the Parrot Taxon Advisory Group for the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She has provided her expertise to conservation projects The Kakapo Recovery Program and The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Her goal is to leave behind a legacy of kindness to animals by sharing her expertise.

Relevant Links:

History of Behavior Analysis and Animal Training: Animal Behavior Enterprises

Steve White on Keep Going Signals as Reviewed by Katie Bartlett:

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