Document Detail

Residual fear of the conditioned stimulus as a function of response prevention after avoidance or classical defensive conditioning in the rat.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1003117     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Studies employing response prevention (RP) are reviewed. Considering assessment difficulties and conflicting findings, it is questionable whether RP actually reduces fear to a conditioned stimulus (CS). This study measured fear after RP via a conditioned emotional response (CER) paradigm. Hypotheses were that fear of an auditory CS (conditioned in an avoidance paradigm) is reduced during RP, and that fear conditioning would occur to aspects of the conditioning environment per se. Also evaluated was the effectiveness of RP when fear had been learned under two different conditions: (a) avoidance or (b) classical defensive conditioning. Seven groups of 10 experimentally naive female rats were run. Animals were initially trained to bar press for food pellets on a variable interval (VI) 2 schedule. Three groups were then avoidance trained in a two-way shuttle box to a criterion of 10 successive avoidances. Immediately following acquisition, one group received RP (blocking) in the shuttle box (Condition A-B). This consisted of placing a door between the two sides of the box and presenting the 85 dB (A) white noise CS for 15 20-sec periods with a variable 1-min interstimulus interval. One group did not receive RP (nonblocked) and was instead immediately returned to its home cage (Condition A-NBHC). The third group was treated as was A-B except the CS was not presented (Condition A-NBSB). Two other groups were trained in a classical defensive paradigm. These animals were matched to A-B animals in terms of number, order, and duration of CSs and USs. Following conditioning, one group received the same treatment as A-B (Condition CD-B), and the other received the same treatment as A-NBHC (Condition CD-NBHC). Two groups served as controls. A backward control (Condition BC-NBHC) was matched to A-NBHC in terms of number, order, and duration of CSs and USs. A sensitization control (Condition SC-NBHC) was matched to A-NBHC in terms of number, order, and duration of CS presentations. Immediately following conditioning trials, control animals received the same treatment as A-NBHC animals. After differential treatments all animals were immediately returned to the lever box in which they had learned to bar press, a VI 2 schedule was reinstated, and the CER was measured. A-B showed significant suppression initially but significantly less than A-NBHC, suggesting that although RP was effective in reducing fear to the CS, some fear remained. Controls showed essentially no suppression and did not differ. A-B did not differ from A-NBSB, suggesting that conditioning of fear did occur to the environment and that this fear was subsequently reduced in A-NBSB. A-B suppressed significantly more than CD-B, suggesting that RP was more effective when fear was learned in a classical as compared to an avoidance paradigm. Theoretical implications and generalizations to implosive therapy are discussed.
P M Monti; N F Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. General     Volume:  105     ISSN:  0096-3445     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Gen     Publication Date:  1976 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1977-02-24     Completed Date:  1977-02-24     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7502587     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Gen     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  148-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Avoidance Learning*
Conditioning, Classical*
Conditioning, Operant
Extinction, Psychological

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