Six experiments studied the role of GABAA receptor activation in expression of overexpectation of Pavlovian fear conditioning. After separate pairings of CSA and CSB with shock in Stage I, rats received pairings of the compound AB with shock in Stage II, producing overexpectation of fear. The expression of overexpectation was attenuated, in a dose-dependent manner, by the benzodiazepine partial inverse agonist FG7142. FG7142 had no effect on responding to a CS paired with a low magnitude US or a CS subjected to associative blocking. These results suggest that the negative prediction error generated during overexpectation training may impose a mask on fear rather than erasing the original fear learning. They support claims that overexpectation shares features with extinction.
- prediction error