Contextual control over conditioned responding in a latent inhibition paradigm

J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2000 Apr;26(2):157-73. doi: 10.1037//0097-7403.26.2.157.


We used 1-, 2-, and 3-context designs to study the control exerted by contexts over freezing in rats exposed to a conditioned stimulus (CS) in advance of its pairing with a shock unconditioned stimulus. The latent inhibition observed when preexposure, conditioning, and testing occurred in the same context was attenuated if preexposure occurred in a different context to conditioning and testing. Latent inhibition (i.e., attenuated performance) was restored in a CS-specific manner if preexposure and testing occurred in the same context and conditioning in a different one. Latent inhibition was also reduced by a long retention interval but remained specific for a particular context-CS relation. Finally, CS preexposure resulted in contextual control over the expression of excitatory conditioned performance. The results are discussed in terms of memory, associative, and associative-performance models of CS-preexposure effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar