14 Oct 2016

Concept learning using contextual cueing

You do not need a large error signal in order to express your knowledge.

Concept Learning Without Differential Reinforcement in Pigeons by Means of Contextual Cueing.

      There is substantial evidence that drug-paired cues become associated with drug effects. From a Pavlovian perspective, these cues act as conditioned stimuli and elicit conditioned compensatory responses that contribute to drug tolerance. Here we report two experiments with rats in which we studied the extinction of the associative tolerance to the ataxic effect of ethanol. Experiment 1 evaluated whether changes in the temporal and physical contexts after extinction training provoke recovery of the extinguished tolerance. The results showed successful extinction, spontaneous recovery and renewal of the extinguished tolerance, but no summation of renewal and spontaneous recovery. Experiment 2 evaluated whether using massive extinction trials and delivering extinction in multiple contexts attenuates the renewal effect. The results showed that both manipulations reduced renewal of the extinguished tolerance to the ataxic effect of ethanol; however, these manipulations used in combination did not appear to be more effective in reducing recovery than each by itself. The present results may help guide further research that evaluates behavioral ploys to prevent the recovery of extinguished responses.