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Terapia psicológica

On-line version ISSN 0718-4808


NORAMBUENA, Ximena A; QUINTANA, Gonzalo R; PONCE, Fernando P  and  VOGEL, Edgar H. Excitatory context-consequence associations in the reinstatement of extinguished responses in human causal learning. Ter Psicol [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp.55-67. ISSN 0718-4808.

In two experiments, undergraduates learned a predictive relationship between an event and a consequence, which was subsequently extinguished by presenting the event without the consequence. In Experiment 1, participants were exposed to the consequence by itself after extinction, occasioning the reappearance of the originally learned predictive relationship, resembling a phenomenon known as Reinstatement in the field of Pavlovian conditioning. This experiment further demonstrated that reinstatement can be explained without appealing to inhibitory associations, but only by mean of excitatory associations between the context and the consequence. Experiment 2 confirmed the generality of these findings using a different procedure of causal learning. The findings are discussed in terms of differences between Pavlovian conditioning and causal learning and of the possible existence of two mechanisms of extinction: unlearning to extinguish non consolidated associations and inhibition for the consolidated associations.

Keywords : Causal learning; Pavlovian conditioning; Extinction; Reinstatement.

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