Trace fear conditioning: a role for context?

A. R. Marchand, D. Luck, G. Di Scala


Fear conditioning can be rapidly obtained over long trace intervals, but its specificity with respect to both time and stimulus is uncertain. Long-trace fear conditioning often parallels contextual conditioning, and it is sensitive to hippocampal lesions. These properties of trace conditioning are not directly addressed by timing models and multiple-time-scale models of conditioning. It is proposed that during early stages of conditioning, a joint representation of the context and the stimulus trace may underlie conditioned responses, and that discriminative processes allow the emergence of specific responses in a later stage.

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