Stimulus generalization of learned fear in infant and adult rats

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Groups of 18, 23, or 90–120 day old rats received inescapable shocks during confinements in the black compartment of a double compartment (black-white) shuttle box. Each S was tested for spatial avoidance of black in the same apparatus and in a similarly constructed, yet different, apparatus. Cross-box generalization decrements in fear strength occurred in every S. Gradients along the cross-box dimension were steeper in infant than in adult rats. Preweaning (18-day) Ss were found to be less fearful in the original (same-box) learning situation than each of the older age groups, although 23-day and adult rats did not differ. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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