Converging evidence for one-trial context fear conditioning with an immediate shock: Importance of shock potency

Rick A. Bevins, Janice E. McPhee, Anthony S. Rauhut, John J.B. Ayres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a sample of 208 Holtzman-descended albino rats, we found evidence with 4 measures of conditioning (freezing, defecation, side crossing, and nose crossing) that a single 2-s, 1.0-mA immediate shock could condition fear to a context (Experiments 1, 2, and 4). When we reduced the shock intensity to 0.5 mA, we obtained a complete immediate-shock conditioning deficit according to all measures in Experiment 3 and to all but the defecation measure in Experiment 4. Results suggest two conclusions: (a) Differences in shock potency between laboratories may help explain discrepant findings about whether immediate shock supports contextual conditioning; (b) theories of contextual conditioning need a mechanism that permits that conditioning to result from immediate shock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-324
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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