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|The state of transfer of stimulus control after extinction in human instrumental conditioning: A key factor in therapy strategies based in nonhuman animal research
|Gámez, Matías A.
León, Samuel P.
Moreno-Fernández, María Manuela
Rosas, Juan M.
|Previous research has shown that instrumental training can encourage the formation of binary associations between the representations of the elements present at the time of learning, that is, between the discriminative stimulus and the instrumental response (the S–R association), between the stimulus and outcome (the S–O association), and between the response and outcome (the R–O association). Studies with rats have used transfer procedures to explore the effects of discriminative extinction (i.e., extinction that is carried out in the presence of the discriminative stimuli) on these three binary associations. Thus, a reduction in the response rate of the extinguished response (R) can be detected in situations involving a different discriminative stimulus that was associated with the same outcome, and to unextinguished responses controlled by the discriminative stimulus (S) and associated with the outcome (O). These transfer effects suggest that R-O and S-O associations remain active after extinction in non-human animals. We carried out an experiment to explore these post-extinction transfer effects in humans using a within-subject design. Contrary to non-human reports, the S-O association was affected by discriminative extinction, suggesting differences in the associative structure of instrumental conditioning in human and nonhuman animals that should be considered by those therapeutic strategies based in nonhuman animal research aimed to reduce unhealthy instrumental behaviors in human beings.
|Human instrumental conditioning; Extinction; Contents of learning; Transfer test.
|Research was made possible by Grants PGC2018-097769-B-C22 and RTI2018-096700-J-I00 from the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation, and Universities and European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).
|Canadian Psychological Association
|Gámez, A. M., León, S. P., Moreno-Fernández, M. M., & Rosas, J. M. (2020). The state of transfer of stimulus control after extinction in human instrumental conditioning: A key factor in therapy strategies based in nonhuman animal research. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie expérimentale, 74(3), 252. https://doi.org/10.1037/cep0000220
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