Exposure to contextual cues immediately after conditioning enables the new stimuli to retrieve the target memory.
But what is the fate of the original cues after this type of transfer of properties? Have they been supplanted by the
new cues, or are both sets of stimuli now effective? To address this issue, an experiment was conducted investigating the
effectiveness of the original training cues following the transfer of retrieval cues to a new context. Rats were exposed to
contextual cues different from training immediately after learning a punishment task. Subjects tested in the new context
treated the context as if it were the original, i.e., retrieval cues were transferred to the shifted context. In addition, this
transfer had no effect on the original memory as rats that were tested in the original context behaved similarly to those
tested in the shifted context. It appears that this transfer of retrieval cues is not a case of erase-and-update, but rather the
cues remain for the original context and also become associated with the new context where exposure took place.