Title

The Importance of Context in the US Preexposure Effect in CTA: Novel versus Latently Inhibited Contextual Stimuli

Publication Title

Learning and Motivation

Publication Date

11-1996

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1006/lmot.1996.0021

Keywords

context, US preexposure effect, CTA, contextual stimuli

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

Three experiments were conducted to examine the role of novel contextual stimuli in producing the unconditioned stimulus (US) preexposure effect. Experiment 1 demonstrated that novel contextual stimuli produce a significantly stronger US preexposure effect than familiar or “latently inhibited” contextual stimuli. Moreover, subjects preexposed in the presence of latently inhibited contextual cues failed to show a significant US preexposure effect. Experiments 2 and 3 attempted to provide evidence that the addition of a single novel stimulus to the latently inhibited context would result in a significantly stronger US preexposure effect than when no such novel cue was present. Experiment 3 was able to demonstrate this effect. Results are consistent with the Rescorla–Wagner (1972) model of conditioning.

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