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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2004 Nov;28(7):663-74.

Memory processes in classical conditioning.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Classical conditioning provides a rich and powerful method for studying basic learning, memory, and emotion processes in animals. However, it is important to recognize that an animal's performance in a conditioning experiment provides only an indirect indication of what it has learned. Various remembering and forgetting processes, in addition to other psychological processes, may intervene and complicate what investigators can infer about learning from performance. This article reviews the role of context, interference, and retrieval in a number of classical conditioning phenomena (e.g. extinction), and provides an overview of how long-term and short-term memory processes influence behavior as it is studied in classical conditioning.

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