Familiarity-based stimulus generalization of conditioned suppression

Article English OPEN
Robinson, Jasper ; Whitt, Emma ; Jones, Peter M. (2017)
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Journal: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Animal Learning and Cognition, volume 43, issue 2, pages 159-170 (issn: 2329-8456, eissn: 2329-8464)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1037/xan0000134, pmc: PMC5410874
  • Subject: familiarity | novelty | Articles | recognition memory

We report that stimulus novelty/familiarity is able to modulate stimulus generalization and discuss the theoretical implications of novelty/familiarity coding. Rats in Skinner boxes received clicker → shock pairings before generalization testing to a tone. Before clicker training, different groups of rats received preexposure treatments designed to systematically modulate the clicker and the tone's novelty and familiarity. Rats whose preexposure matched novelty/familiarity (i.e., either both or neither clicker and tone were pre-exposed) showed enhanced suppression to the tone relative to rats whose preexposure mixed novelty/familiarity (i.e., only clicker or tone was pre-exposed). This was not the result of sensory preconditioning to clicker and tone.
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