ERIC Number: EJ825014
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Immediate Extinction Causes a Less Durable Loss of Performance than Delayed Extinction following Either Fear or Appetitive Conditioning
Woods, Amanda M.; Bouton, Mark E.
Learning & Memory, v15 n12 p909-920 Dec 2008
Five experiments with rat subjects compared the effects of immediate and delayed extinction on the durability of extinction learning. Three experiments examined extinction of fear conditioning (using the conditioned emotional response method), and two experiments examined extinction of appetitive conditioning (using the food-cup entry method). In all experiments, conditioning and extinction were accomplished in single sessions, and retention testing took place 24 h after extinction. In both fear and appetitive conditioning, immediate extinction (beginning 10 min after conditioning) caused a faster loss of responding than delayed extinction (beginning 24 h after conditioning). However, immediate extinction was less durable than delayed extinction: There was stronger spontaneous recovery during the final retention test. There was also substantial renewal of responding when the physical context was changed between immediate extinction and testing (Experiment 1). The results suggest that, in these two widely used conditioning preparations, immediate extinction does not erase or depotentiate the original learning, and instead creates a less permanent reduction in conditioned responding. Results did not support the possibility that the strong recovery after immediate extinction was due to a mismatch in the recent "context" provided by the presence or absence of a recent conditioning experience. Several other accounts are considered.
Descriptors: Emotional Response, Testing, Conditioning, Fear, Animals, Learning Processes, Food, Retention (Psychology), Responses, Performance
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A