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J Exp Biol. 2002 Apr;205(Pt 8):1171-8.

The effects of continuous versus partial reinforcement schedules on associative learning, memory and extinction in Lymnaea stagnalis.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Calgary, Faculty of Medicine, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


A continuous schedule of reinforcement (CR) in an operant conditioning procedure results in the acquisition of associative learning and the formation of long-term memory. A 50 % partial reinforcement (PR) schedule does not result in learning. The sequence of PR-CR training has different and significant effects on memory retention and resistance to extinction. A CR/PR schedule results in a longer-lasting memory than a PR/CR schedule. Moreover, the memory produced by the CR/PR schedule is resistant to extinction training. In contrast, extinction occurs following the PR/CR schedule.

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