The Role of Temporal Relationships in the Transfer of Conditioned Inhibition

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Abstract

Two experiments with rats investigated the temporal relationships under which conditioned inhibition will transfer to an independently conditioned excitor (CS) in a summation test. Experiment 1 trained 2 simultaneous inhibitors with either a trace or delay excitatory CS. Transfer of inhibitory behavioral control depended on the temporal relationship of the transfer CS to the unconditioned stimulus (US). Experiment 2 extended these findings by training 2 inhibitors (1 simultaneous and 1 serial) with a single delay excitatory CS. Again, testing with trace and delay transfer CSs found that transfer of inhibitor control depended on the temporal relationship of the transfer CS to the US. In both studies, maximal inhibition was observed when the inhibitor signaled US omission at the same time as the transfer excitor signaled US presentation. The results are discussed in terms of the temporal coding hypothesis.

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