Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

June 2000


Published in Animal Learning & Behavior 28:2 (2000), pp. 162-171. Copyright 2000 The Psychonomic Society. Used by permission. Online at


In three experiments, using a total of 120 albino rats, we assessed whether transportation cues might evoke some of the freezing (i.e., defensive immobility) that we see in a context on a day following a footshock given immediately after placement in that context. The results suggested that immediate shock could directly condition strong fear to both simulated and actual transport cues. Although conditioning to transport cues explains some of the freezing that is seen on the test day, it does not explain all of it. We also found evidence that some of the freezing is due to conditioning to permanent features of the context in which the immediate shock is given. The results support a role for transport cues in theories of context conditioning and argue against shock-processing accounts of the conditioning deficit that results from immediate shock.