Excitatory and inhibitory consequences of explicitly unpaired and truly random conditioning procedures on heart rate in rats

Christopher Cunningham, Robert D. Fitzgerald, David L. Francisco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


A comparison was made of heart-rate (HR) responses of restrained rats to CSs that were part of an explicitly unpaired or a truly random control procedure. Subsequent to these procedures, an assessment was made of the relative capacities of these CSs to affect an established HR CR in a combined-cue paradigm and to impede the development of a HR CR in a reversal-conditioning situation. The principal findings were (1) that the explicitly unpaired and truly random CSs generated HR responses of opposite direction, i.e., HR acceleration vs. HR deceleration, respectively, and (2) that conditioning of a decelerative HR CR to the CS that had earlier been employed in the explicitly unpaired procedure was retarded compared to what was obtained to the truly random CS. The two CSs did not have reliably different effects in the combined-cue test. It was suggested that the truly random CS may have produced both associative and nonassociative influences on HR. It was hypothesized further than the explicitly unpaired CS may have acquired the capacity to function as a conditioned inhibiting stimulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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