Empirical and theoretical implications of additivity between reinstatement and renewal after interference in causal learning

Behav Processes. 2003 May 28;63(1):21-31. doi: 10.1016/S0376-6357(03)00031-7.


An experiment explored the effects of context change (renewal) and presentation of the outcome (reinstatement) upon retroactive interference in causal learning. An interference task was used where a sequential relationship between the name of a food and two different outcomes was established (A+|A*). Renewal and reinstatement effects appeared as partial attenuation of retroactive interference. The combination of both treatments produced complete recovery of first-learned information (A+). This complete reversal on the estimations of participants suggests that renewal and reinstatement effects within this paradigm imply partial recovery of the first-learned information, rather than response at a chance level emitted by confused participants. On the other hand, additivity between reinstatement and renewal suggests that reinstatement may be due to the combined effect of different underlying processes.