Temporal Specificity of Extinction in Autoshaping

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Abstract

Three experiments investigated the effects of varying the conditioned stimulus (CS) duration between training and extinction. Ring doves (Streptopelia risoria) were autoshaped on a fixed CS-unconditioned stimulus (US) interval and extinguished with CS presentations that were longer, shorter, or the same as the training duration. During a subsequent test session, the training CS duration was reintroduced. Results suggest that the cessation of responding during an extinction session is controlled by generalization of excitation between the training and extinction CSs and by the number of nonreinforced CS presentations. Transfer of extinction to the training CS is controlled by the similarity between the extinction and training CSs. Extinction learning is temporally specific.

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