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Interference in human predictive learning when associations share a common element

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... To summarize the most critical points with respect to the current study, it has been established that retroactive associative outcome interference is context-specific (e.g., Peck and Bouton, 1990). Likewise, it has been demonstrated that long retention intervals can reduce the effects of outcome interference (Bouton and Peck, 1992;Pineño and Matute, 2000). Recent research has examined the validity of analogies between RIF and retroactive outcome interference. ...
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Recent studies have pursued the nature of inhibition observed in retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) tasks. In a RIF paradigm, participants are trained on category-exemplar pairs in Phase 1. Then, some exemplars from select categories (Rp+ items) receive further practice in Phase 2. At test, impaired recall for non-practiced exemplars of the practiced categories (Rp- items) is observed relative to exemplars from non-practiced categories (Nrp items). This difference constitutes RIF. Prior reports of spontaneous recovery from RIF indicate that RIF represents a lapse rather than a loss of memory. Empirical analogs and theoretical considerations suggest that RIF should also be reversible through a change of context between Phase 2 and testing (i.e., renewal). We conducted two experiments using human participants to evaluate the context dependency of RIF. In both experiments, Phases 1 and 2 occurred in distinctly different contexts with subsequent testing occurring in either the Phase 1 context or the Phase 2 context. RIF was observed in both experiments. Experiment 1 additionally found that the magnitude of RIF was not reduced by testing in the Phase 1 context relative to testing in the Phase 2 context. Experiment 2 further tested context dependency of RIF by 1) increasing the dissimilarity between the two contexts and 2) inserting a retention interval between Phase 2 and test for half of the participants in each test context condition. The data again indicated no effect of the context manipulation. Thus, no renewal from RIF was observed in either experiment; moreover, these null findings were supported by Bayesian analyses. These results are compared with analogous inhibitory processes in the animal memory literature that typically show both physical and temporal context dependency.
... Yet, to our knowledge, research on retroactive interference does typically not observe such unspecific interference effects on non-targeted stimuli (e.g. Drosopoulos et al., 2007;Pineño & Matute, 2000) and we did also in our experiment find a substantial counterconditioning effect. Nevertheless, the fact that we chose a different control condition for the interference manipulation might potentially explain, why we did not replicate Ellenbogen et al. ( , 2009 results. ...
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Research on evaluative conditioning (EC) shows that attitudes can emerge from co-occurrences of stimuli, and accumulating evidence suggests that EC usually depends on memory for these stimulus contingencies. Therefore, processes known to aid memory retention may be relevant for the development of stable attitudes. One such process may be memory consolidation, assumed to be promoted by waking rest and sleep. In two pre-registered experiments, we investigated whether waking rest (vs. cognitive activity, Experiment 1) and sleep (vs. wakefulness, Experiment 2) in between conditioning and measurement of EC, consolidate contingency memory and EC. Contrary to our predictions, waking rest (vs. cognitive activity) promoted neither contingency memory nor EC effects. Sleep (vs. wakefulness) decreased forgetting of contingency memory but crucially, it did not attenuate the impact of counterconditioning on contingency memory. Sleep also did not influence EC effects, nor the reduction of EC by counterconditioning. EC effects in both experiments were predicted by contingency memory. Yet, unexpectedly, EC effects occurred in the absence of contingency memory after waking rest, but neither after sleep nor in the active control conditions. Our findings emphasise a role of contingency memory in EC, but it remains unclear whether this role changes during waking rest.
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Retroactive interference between cues trained apart was long ago studied in the Psychology of Memory, within the paired associate tradition. Current theories of learning, however, predict that interference between cues should not occur if they are trained elementally. Here we review the available evidence on retroactive interference between cues trained apart and show that this effect is very similar to other, classical effects, in the area of learning, such as interference between outcomes and competition between cues. We suggest that a stronger connection between these research areas is important, as common mechanisms are quite possibly responsible for all these effects. Finally, we discuss whether associative or the causal inference mechanisms currently studied in the area of learning could provide a satisfactory explanation for these effects.
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Resultados recientes en la literatura ponen en cuestión si la atenuación de la interferencia retroactiva que se produce como consecuencia del cambio de contexto tras la fase de interferencia se deben al abandono de este contexto de interferencia (Bouton, 1993) o al regreso al contexto de adquisición. Se realizaron dos experimentos para comprobar si era posible obtener renovación en un paradigma de aprendizaje causal. Se utilizó una tarea de interferencia retroactiva que consistía en emparejar una clave y una consecuencia (A+) y posteriormente esa misma clave con una consecuencia incompatible (A*). El cambio de contexto tras la fase de interferencia produjo una atenuación de la interferencia retroactiva independientemente de si este cambio supuso un regreso al contexto de adquisición (Experimento 1) o simplemente el abandono del contexto de interferencia (Experimento 2). Los resultados obtenidos se ajustan a lo predicho desde la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton (1993).
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