Behaviour Research and Therapy vol:44 issue:12 pages:1717-1725
It was previously demonstrated in our laboratory that conditioned fear in humans can renew after extinction, when this procedure took place in a different context (ABA-renewal [Vansteenwegen et al. (2005). Return of fear in a human differential conditioning paradigm caused by a return to the original acquisition context. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43(3), 323-336]). Using the same experimental design, we now tested the power of retrieval cues to interact with this contextual renewal phenomenon. Two groups went through acquisition and extinction (in a different context). They were then tested in the original acquisition context and in the presence of a retrieval cue. In the acquisition-cue group, this cue previously featured during the acquisition procedure; in the extinction-cue group, the cue previously featured during the extinction procedure. As expected, renewal of conditioned electro-dermal responding and retrospective expectancy ratings was strongest in the acquisition-cue group. Theoretical and clinical implications of this finding are discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.