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The effect of US signalling and the US–CS interval on backward conditioning in mice.

Sanderson, D.J. and Cuell, S.F. and Bannerman, D.M. (2014) 'The effect of US signalling and the US–CS interval on backward conditioning in mice.', Learning and motivation., 48 . pp. 22-32.


The effect of US signalling and the US–CS interval in backward conditioning was assessed in mice. For one group of mice the presentation of food was signalled by a tone and for another group, food was unsignalled. For half of the mice, within each group, the presentation of food preceded a visual cue by 10 s. For the other half, food was presented at the start of the visual cue (0-s US–CS interval), resulting in simultaneous pairings of these events. A summation test and a subsequent retardation test were used to assess the inhibitory effects of backward conditioning in comparison to training with a non-reinforced visual cue that controlled for the possible effects of latent inhibition and conditioned inhibition caused as a consequence of differential conditioning. In the summation test unsignalled presentations of the US resulted in inhibition when the US–CS interval was 10 s, but not 0 s. Signalled presentations of the US resulted in inhibition, independent of the US–CS interval. In the retardation test, independent of US signalling, a US–CS interval of 10 s failed to result in inhibition, but an interval of 0 s resulted in greater conditioned responding to the backward CS than the control CS. A generalisation decrement account of the effect of signalling the US with a 0-s US–CS interval, which resulted in reduced responding in the summation test and faster acquisition in the retardation test, is discussed.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Learning, Conditioned inhibition, Priming, Temporal contiguity, Behaviour, External inhibition.
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
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Publisher statement:© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date accepted:18 August 2014
Date deposited:12 November 2014
Date of first online publication:08 November 2014
Date first made open access:No date available

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