Classical delay eyeblink conditioning in 4- and 5-month-old human infants
Simple delay classical eyeblink conditioning, using a tone conditioned stimulus (CS) and airpuff unconditioned stimulus (US), was studied in cross-sectional samples of 4-and 5-month-old healthy, full-term infants. Infants received two identical training sessions, 1 week apart. At both ages, infants experiencing paired tones and air-puffs demonstrated successful conditioning over two sessions, relative to control subjects who had unpaired training. Conditioning was not evident, however, during the first session. Two additional groups of 5-month-olds received varied experiences during Session 1, either unpaired presentations of the CS and US or no stimulus exposure, followed by paired conditioning during Session 2. Results from these groups suggest that the higher level of conditioning observed following two sessions of paired conditioning was not the result of familiarity with the testing environment or the stimuli involved but, rather, the result of retention of associative learning not expressed during the first conditioning session.
Ivkovich, D; Collins, KL; Eckerman, CO; Krasnegor, NA; Stanton, ME
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