Conditioning versus sensitization in the galvanic skin response

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Whether or not the return of the response to an orienting stimulus (after it has undergone habituation) during GSR conditioning is a true conditioned response (CR) was tested by a differentiation method. 10 Ss were given 2 tones for 40 habituation trials. This was followed by a conditioning period in which one tone was paired with shock and the other was unpaired. Equal numbers of orienting responses (OR) reoccurred during the conditioning period with both paired and unpaired tones; but more conditioned anticipatory responses occurred with the paired than the unpaired tone (p < .001). The return of the OR is a sensitization response rather than a CR. The OR may be simply differentiated from the CR by its latency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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