Avoidance decrement in avoidance conditioning

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Performance during extended training in avoidance conditioning with a wheel manipulandum was studied in 4 experiments using Sprague-Dawley rats. Previous reports of marked performance decrement in later sessions were amply verified. Punishment for nonavoidance decreased avoidance responding. Conditioning was better at shorter intertrial intervals. Females were superior to males and in fact females showed no avoidance decrement at the shortest (1-min.) intertrial interval, and negative transfer was found for the reverse direction. Rest produced a partial and temporary recovery of avoidance responding. A non-shock warm-up effect was obtained. Observational data emphasized the anomalous nature of the avoidance-decrement phenomenon. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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