The effects of context changes on the reinstatement of extinguished conditioned behavior in a conditioned suppression task with humans

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Neumann, David L
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2008
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Abstract

Reinstatement refers to the return of previously extinguished conditioned responses to test trials of a conditional stimulus (CS) when presentations of the unconditional stimulus (US) alone are given following extinction. Four experiments were conducted to determine whether reinstatement could be found in a conditioned suppression task with humans and whether contextual changes can abolish it. Experiment 1 demonstrated the reinstatement of conditioned suppression when acquisition, extinction, US alone, and test trials were all given in the same context. Experiments 2 and 3 suggested that the reinstatement effect was still present when the US alone presentations were given in a different context to the subsequent test trials. Experiment 4 replicated this effect using additional controls over the amount of exposure to the various contexts. The results suggest that reinstatement can be robust across changing contexts. Aspects of the conditioned suppression task that promote the transfer of learning across contexts or the establishment of configural context-CS stimuli may underlie the apparent lack of contextual control over reinstatement.

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Learning and Motivation

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39

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© 2008 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Specialist studies in education

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