The phylogenetic distribution of latent inhibition

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Introduction Inspired by early Darwinian theory, cross-species comparisons of learning abilities were once a focal point of experimental psychology. Today, many researchers have turned to simple organic systems, not to compare them to other species, but rather to take advantage of the relative lack of complexity of their cellular and molecular architecture for the purpose of modeling basic processes that are assumed to be operative in more intricate organisms. This approach has been used with a number of invertebrates, including the fruit fly Drosophila, the sea slug Aplysyia, and the honey bee Apis mellifera (for reviews, see, e.g., Davis, 2005; Kandel, 2001; Menzel &Muller, 1996, respectively). Many of these studies have examined the neural pathways involved in classical conditioning. More recently, however, attention also has been directed to an even simpler behavioral phenomenon, at least operationally, namely latent inhibition (LI). In the classical conditioning paradigm, the subject encounters paired presentations of the CS and US and the experimenter records changes in responsivity to the CS (i.e., CRs). In LI, the subject is first presented with a series of to-be-CSs, each of which is not followed by an event of consequence (CS−0). Typically, responses to the to-be-CS are not documented. The stimulus preexposure stage is followed by one or more CS−US pairings, during which time CRs are recorded (two-stage procedure). Alternatively, the second stage may be followed by an additional stage in which the CSs again are presented without the US, and the CRs are monitored (three-stage procedure).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLatent Inhibition
Subtitle of host publicationCognition, Neuroscience and Applications to Schizophrenia
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780511730184
ISBN (Print)9780521517331
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


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