The ability to adapt to environmental change is essential for the survival of any organism. Adaptations to environmental change include the ability to learn associations and the ability to modify those associations. Numerous studies have demonstrated that deficits in the ability to modify or modulate learning are associated with multiple mental illnesses and disorders (Amieva, Phillips, Della, &Henry, 2004; Baron-Cohen &Belmonte, 2005; Baruch, Hemsley, &Gray, 1988; Clark &Goodwin, 2004; Kaplan et al., 2006; Lubow &Gewirtz, 1995; Lubow &Josman, 1993; Vaitl, Lipp, Bauer et al., 1999; Weiner, Schiller, &Gaisler-Salomon, 2003). Because of the strong link between mental illness and deficits in processes that modulate learning, understanding the neural substrates of these processes could facilitate development of treatments for many diseases. Latent inhibition is one process that can modulate learned associations and is also altered in patients with mental illness (see the chapters on schizophrenia in this book for an in-depth discussion). As described in preceding chapters in this book, latent inhibition is the phenomenon in which pre-exposure to a conditioned stimulus (CS) prior to the pairing of this CS with an unconditioned stimulus (US) decreases the subsequent conditioned responses (CR). There are three phases of latent inhibition: (1) pre-exposure to the CS, (2) training (or conditioning), and (3) testing. The presence of latent inhibition is identified by comparing the degree of conditioned responding between the CS pre-exposed group and the non-pre-exposed group.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Latent Inhibition|
|Subtitle of host publication||Cognition, Neuroscience and Applications to Schizophrenia|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||24|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
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