Examining the Effects of Uncontrollable Stress on S-S Associations
Sprunger, Andrew B.
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The effects of uncontrollable stress on the acquisition of "simple" Pavlovian associations (i.e. high contingency between the CS and US) in rats are equivocal. Some have found no effects on "simple" Pavlovian associations, but have demonstrated effects on more "complex" associations (Rosellini, Warren, and DeCola, 1987; DeCola and Rosellini, 1990). Still others have demonstrated that exposure to uncontrollable shock facilitated the acquisition of S-S associations in a "simple" context (Servatius and Shors, 1994). One possible explanation for this is that effects in a "simple" context are only produced on S-S associations. In the present experiment, the effects of exposure to uncontrollable shock on subsequent acquisition of S-S associations were directly examined using second-order conditioning. The results indicate that there are no effects (facilitation or interference) on the formation of "simple" S-S associations in an aversive paradigm.