The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology vol:60 issue:10 pages:1313-1320
In animals, the reappearance of conditioned fear responses after extinction has been primarily investigated using single-cue conditioning paradigms. However, a differential paradigm can overcome several of the disadvantages associated with a single-cue procedure. In the present study, the reinstatement phenomenon was assessed in mice using a differential conditioned suppression paradigm. In a first phase, one conditioned stimulus (CS+) was consistently paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US; footshock) while another CS (CS-)was not, resulting in selective suppression of previously trained instrumental behaviour during the CS+. After the extinction phase, half of the animals (reinstatement group) were presented with unsignalled USs, while the other half were not (control group). A differential return of conditioned responding was observed in the reinstatement group, but not in the control group. The implications of these findings for future conditioning research are discussed.