Fear reduction and avoidance learning following administration of alcohol during prior CS-shock exposure

Anisman, Hymie (1970) Fear reduction and avoidance learning following administration of alcohol during prior CS-shock exposure. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

To determine if the classical conditioning of fear was responsible for the facilitative effects of prior exposure to CS-shock pairings, 2 groups of 48 rats were given either 25 light-tone and shock pairings or 25 light-tone presentations only. One-half of the Ss in each of these groups were injected with 1.5 cc/kg of alcohol 5 minutes prior to the pretraining procedure, while the remaining Ss were injected with 1.5cc/kg of physiological saline. 24 hours after initial treatment one-half of the Ss received 90 avoidance conditioning trials under the same drug state as during prior training, while the remaining Ss were tested under the other drug condition. -- Results indicated that Ss which received prior CS-shock pairings responded faster and learned the avoidance task more readily than Ss given only prior CS presentations. In addition, Ss which received saline during prior CS-shock exposure responded more rapidly during the first 5 and last 5 trials than did Ss who either received alcohol during prior CS-shock exposure, or Ss who received alcohol or saline and only prior CS presentations. Moreover, Ss whose initial treatment consisted of prior CS-shock exposure with saline made more avoidance responses during the first block of 30 trials, and made the first avoidance response and 3 consecutive avoidance responses earlier than Ss in each of the other groups. These results were taken to indicate that prior CS-shock exposure results in the conditioning of fear to the CS, thereby motivating escape from the CS. Escape from the CS reduces the fear, thus reinforcing the avoidance response. -- The present study also indicated that administration of alcohol during avoidance training increased the inter-trial response rate, but decreased the avoidance response rate. These results were interpreted as further support for the hypothesis that fear motivates, and that fear reduction reinforces the avoidance response.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7184
Item ID: 7184
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 40-47.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1970
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Avoidance (Psychology)

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