Date of Award

2-1-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Departments/Programs

Psychology

First Advisor

Martin Chodorow

Second Advisor

Vincent Campese

Academic Program Adviser

Sandeep Prasada

Abstract

The following study sought to examine the psychological substrates of renewal (e.g.., context dependent extinction processes) for conditioned avoidance behaviors in rats. Using signaled active avoidance conditioning, rats acquired two-way shuttle responding, to two different auditory stimuli. These behaviors were then extinguished through exposure to the auditory stimuli where shuttling behavior was now without consequence. Subjects were then tested for renewal of avoidance in three distinct renewal sequences (e.g., ABA vs ABB, AAB vs AAA, and ABC vs ABB) in three separate groups of rats. It was found that subjects showed more responding to a stimulus presented outside of its extinction context compared to control tests where the cue was presented in the extinction context. This study furthers our understanding of the psychological representation of extinction as it relates to the effects of contextual modulation upon renewal of avoidance behavior.

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