Extinction in the developing rat: An examination of renewal effects

Carol S L Yap*, Rick Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


In the present series of experiments the context-specificity of extinction was examined from a developmental perspective. For postnatal day (PN) 23 rats, renewal of freezing to an aversive odor conditioned stimulus (CS) was observed when rats were conditioned in Context A, extinguished in Context B, and tested in Context A (i.e., ABA renewal). This effect was not observed in PN16 rats, which is consistent with previous studies suggesting that rats <∼PN20 are impaired in encoding contextual information [i.e., Carew and Rudy [1991]. Developmental Psychobiology, 24, 191-209]. Subsequent experiments demonstrated that for rats conditioned at PN16 and tested at PN23, contextual regulation of extinction performance depended on the age at which extinction occurred. Specifically, ABA renewal was observed in rats given extinction training at PN22 but not in rats given extinction training at PN17. These latter results show that whether or not context regulates the expression of an ambiguous memory is determined by the animal's age when the memory becomes ambiguous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-575
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


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