Amplitude of the rabbit's unconditioned nictitating membrane response in the presence of a conditioned inhibitor

John E. Desmond, Anthony G. Romano, John W. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a light or backshock as the reinforced CS (A) and a tone or backshock as the conditioned inhibitor (X), rabbits experienced conditioned inhibition training in an A+/AX- paradigm. Following training, the amplitude of the unconditioned nictitating membrane response elicited by a mild (.5-mA) paraorbital shock was measured in the presence of X and AX and expressed as a percentage of the amplitude of the UR to the shock presented alone. In Experiment 1, the effect of X and AX on UR amplitude for conditioned inhibition animals was compared with that of control animals treated to a variety of pretest procedures. In general, UR amplitude in the presence of X exceeded that observed to the US presented alone. There was no consistent difference between the experimental and control groups. In Experiments 2-5, A test trials were added as an alternative reference point. Again, UR amplitude increased rather than decreased UR amplitude. In addition, X as a conditioned inhibitor enhanced the facilitating effect of A on UR amplitude in four out of five experiments. These findings have implications for theories of the "locus of action" of conditioned inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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