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Context change and retention interval can have additive, rather than interactive, effects after taste aversion extinction

Context change and retention interval can have additive, rather than interactive, effects after... Spontaneous forgetting is often attributed to retrieval failure caused by natural changes in the background context that occur over time. However, some investigators have argued that the context-change account of forgetting is paradoxical, because context-change effects themselves decrease over time. To resolve the paradox, we have suggested that organisms may merely forget the physical context as the temporal context in which it is embedded changes; this explanation accepts a fundamental similarity between time and physical context. The present experiment tested an implication of this analysis by examining the interaction between retention interval and context change in rats after a taste aversion was conditioned and then extinguished. Importantly, subjects tested at the longer (24-day) retention interval received reminder exposure to the physical contexts before testing. Under these conditions, retention interval and context change both caused relapse of the extinguished aversion (spontaneous recovery and renewal, respectively), and the strongest overall relapse was observed when the two treatments were combined. Such additivity (rather than interactivity) is consistent with a context-change account of forgetting and sets the stage for resolution of the context-forgetting paradox. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychonomic Bulletin & Review Springer Journals

Context change and retention interval can have additive, rather than interactive, effects after taste aversion extinction

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , Volume 5 (1) – Jan 16, 2011

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References (40)

Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Psychonomic Society, Inc
Subject
Psychology; Cognitive Psychology
ISSN
1069-9384
eISSN
1531-5320
DOI
10.3758/BF03209459
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Spontaneous forgetting is often attributed to retrieval failure caused by natural changes in the background context that occur over time. However, some investigators have argued that the context-change account of forgetting is paradoxical, because context-change effects themselves decrease over time. To resolve the paradox, we have suggested that organisms may merely forget the physical context as the temporal context in which it is embedded changes; this explanation accepts a fundamental similarity between time and physical context. The present experiment tested an implication of this analysis by examining the interaction between retention interval and context change in rats after a taste aversion was conditioned and then extinguished. Importantly, subjects tested at the longer (24-day) retention interval received reminder exposure to the physical contexts before testing. Under these conditions, retention interval and context change both caused relapse of the extinguished aversion (spontaneous recovery and renewal, respectively), and the strongest overall relapse was observed when the two treatments were combined. Such additivity (rather than interactivity) is consistent with a context-change account of forgetting and sets the stage for resolution of the context-forgetting paradox.

Journal

Psychonomic Bulletin & ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 16, 2011

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