This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Reinstatement interacts with interpolation interval to determine the effectiveness of counterconditioning




Powell, Elizabeth

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Extinction and counterconditioning have been used extensively as applied techniques that attenuate conditioned fear. Relapse through the form of renewal, reinstatement, and spontaneous recovery present challenges for these applications because they decrease the extent to which response attenuation is maintained over a wide range of circumstances and across long time intervals. Previous research has demonstrated that delaying extinction after acquisition of conditioned fear results in less relapse of fear at test than does conducting extinction immediately after acquisition. Although this effect has been repeatedly found in extinction, it has been relatively undocumented in counterconditioning. The present studies assessed this effect in counterconditioning and sought to determine whether differences in immediate and delayed counterconditioning are the result of different memory representations or differential acquisition of the interpolated association. This was assessed through the use of reinstatement procedures, intended to encourage retrieval of either the original or the interpolated phases of training.