Contextual fear after signalled versus unsignalled shocks: Effect of extent of prior experience with context and signal
SourceQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section B, Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 49, 2, (1996), pp. 148-173
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC BI
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section B, Comparative and Physiological Psychology
In the first two experiments, rats were differentially familiarized with a discrete stimulus and/ or a context prior to receiving either shocks signalled by that stimulus or unsignalled shocks in that context. As indexed by freezing, in none of the pre-exposure conditions did the signalled-shock rats consistently acquire less contextual fear than the unsignalled-shock animals. Both pre-exposure to the stimulus and relatively short pre-exposure to the future conditioning context resulted in more contextual fear in the signalled-shock than in the unsignalled-shock subjects. In a third experiment, freezing in the target conditioning context was especially enhanced in rats that had been familiarized with a stimulus, conditioned with the stimulus as a signal for shock, and subsequently further conditioned to the stimulus in a different, non-target context. The level of freezing to the stimulus in a neutral test context was positively related to the level of freezing in the target conditioning context in all experiments. These results were discussed in terms of context-shock, stimulus-shock, and context-stimulus associations.
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