Temporal Coding in Conditioned Inhibition: Analysis of Associative Structure of Inhibition

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Two experiments with rats as subjects were conducted to investigate the associative structure of temporal control of conditioned inhibition through posttraining manipulation of the training excitor-unconditioned stimulus (US) temporal relationship. Experiment 1 found that following simultaneous Pavlovian inhibition training (i.e., A → US/XA-no US) in which a conditioned stimulus (CS A) was established as a delay excitor, maximal inhibition was observed on a summation test when CS X was compounded with a delay transfer CS. Furthermore, posttraining shifts in the A-US temporal relationship from delay to trace resulted in maximal inhibition of a trace transfer CS. Experiment 2 found complementary results to Experiment 1 with an A-US posttraining shift from serial to simultaneous. These results suggest that temporal control of inhibition is mediated by the training excitor-US temporal relationship.

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