Context-dependent Memory - Context-dependent Extinction

Context-dependent Extinction

Extinction refers to the loss of performance after a conditioned stimulus is no longer paired with an unconditioned stimulus. It can also refer to the loss of an operant response when it is no longer reinforced. Research done by Bouton (2002) has shown that extinction is not an example of unlearning, but a new type of learning where the performance of the individual depends on the context. The renewal effect is seen when a participant is first conditioned in a context (context A) and then shows extinction in another context (B). Returning to context A may renew the conditioned response. This evidence demonstrates that appropriate responses underlying extinction may be linked to contextual information. Hence, someone who is in the context in which they initially learned the material is likely to be cued to act as they were initially conditioned to act. If they are in the extinction context, then that context will likely prompt them not to respond.

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Famous quotes containing the word extinction:

    Man is an over-complicated organism. If he is doomed to extinction he will die out for want of simplicity.
    Ezra Pound (1885–1972)