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Partial reinforcement and conditioned taste aversion: No evidence for resistance to extinction

Dwyer, Dominic ORCID:, Gasalla Canto, Patricia and Lopez, Matias 2019. Partial reinforcement and conditioned taste aversion: No evidence for resistance to extinction. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 72 (2) , pp. 274-284. 10.1080/17470218.2017.1347191

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The partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) is the observation that, following training in which a response is followed by reward on only a subset of trials, the response is more resistant to extinction following the total removal of reward than it is after training in which reward is presented on all trials. The PREE is almost ubiquitous in instrumental conditioning procedures but only inconsistently observed in Pavlovian conditioning. In his classic review of animal learning, Mackintosh attributes the bulk of the PREE to generalisation decrement relating to the fact that partial reinforcement typically ensures that acquisition of responding has taken place in conditions similar to that of extinction (e.g., in the absence of the reinforcer). We report here that extinction of a conditioned taste aversion is not retarded by partial reinforcement in terms of either consumption of the taste or hedonic reactions to it (assessed through the analysis of licking microstructure). These results are consistent with Mackintosh’s analysis of the PREE and the way in which it might differ between instrumental and Pavlovian conditioning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0033-555X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 June 2017
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 05:41

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