In this procedure, laboratory animals are first trained to self-administer a drug or nondrug reinforcer in an environment (typically termed context A) associated with a specific set of "background" stimuli (e.g., operant chamber fan, time of day). During training, these stimuli become associated with the availability and effects of the reinforcer. Lever pressing is then extinguished in a different environment (typically termed context B) with a different set of "background" stimuli. During reinstatement testing under extinction conditions, exposure to the context previously paired with the reinforcer (context A) reliably reinstates operant responding.
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