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Resurgence of derived stimulus relations
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Resurgence has been shown in human and nonhuman operant behavior, but not in derived relational responses. The present study examined this issue. Twenty-three undergraduates were trained to make conditional discriminations in a three-choice matching-to-sample paradigm. The training resulted in three equivalence classes, each consisting of four arbitrarily configured visual stimuli. The same 12 stimuli were then reorganized, and the conditional discrimination training was repeated such that three new classes were possible. In a subsequent test of derived relations, most subjects showed response patterns that were consistent with the altered conditional discriminations. Subjects were then exposed to conditional discrimination trials under extinction. Most subjects continued to respond consistently with the most recently reinforced conditional discrimination trials. During the next phase, subjects were exposed to symmetry and equivalence trials. Responses consistent with the most recent training produced feedback saying that the responses were incorrect, whereas other responses produced no feedback. Most subjects showed a resurgence of responding that was consistent with their earlier training. Finally, subjects were exposed to conditional discrimination trials carried out in extinction. Most subjects continued to show a resurgence of responding that was consistent with their early training.