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Conditioning-specific reflex modification of the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) nictitating membrane response: US intensity effects.

Authors
  • Seager, Matthew A1
  • Smith-Bell, Carrie A
  • Schreurs, Bernard G
  • 1 Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute and West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & behavior
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2003
Volume
31
Issue
3
Pages
292–298
Identifiers
PMID: 14577552
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Conditioning-specific reflex modification (CRM) of the rabbit's nictitating membrane response (NMR) describes changes in responding to an unconditioned stimulus (US) when the rabbit is tested in the absence of the conditioned stimulus. Specifically, after at least 3 days of tone-electrical stimulation pairings, responses to the US increase in size, especially at intensities weaker than the training intensity. CRM is similar to classical conditioning in that it is a function of the strength of conditioning, it can be extinguished, and it can be generalized from one stimulus to another. To compare CRM and classical conditioning further, we conducted three experiments to examine the effects of US intensity (1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 mA) on CRM. CRM was weak following conditioning with 1.0 mA and extremely strong following conditioning with 2.0 mA and 4.0 mA. The data suggest that CRM is a function of US intensity and have implications for posttraumatic stress disorder, a disorder potentially modeled by CRM.

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