In three experiments rats were given short or long preexposure (4 or 10 sessions) to two compound flavours, AX and BX, according to an intermixed or a blocked schedule. Following preexposure, aversion conditioning trials were given with AX as the conditioned stimulus (CS). In Experiments 1 and 2, retardation and summation tests were then carried out to assess the inhibitory properties of B (an Espinet procedure). In Experiment 3, test trials evaluated generalization from AX to BX (the standard perceptual learning procedure). The results showed that B performed as an inhibitor of the unconditioned stimulus (US; an Espinet effect) only after long intermixed preexposure, whereas a reliable perceptual learning effect was observed both after short and after long preeexposure. The observation that B had no detectable inhibitory properties after short preexposure casts doubt on the suggestion that inhibitory learning is responsible for perceptual learning after brief exposure to AX and BX
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