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Latent Inhibition

  1. Robert E. Lubow

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0498

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Lubow, R. E. 2010. Latent Inhibition. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Tel Aviv University, Israel

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Latent inhibition (LI) is demonstrated when a previously exposed, unattended stimulus is less effective in a new learning situation than a novel stimulus. The term “latent inhibition” dates back to Lubow and Moore (1959), who intended to design a classical conditioning analog of latent learning. As such, the LI effect was “latent” in that it was not exhibited in the stimulus pre-exposure phase, but rather in the subsequent test phase. “Inhibition” simply reflected the fact that the effect was manifest as a retardation of learning. Since that first demonstration, there have been hundreds of LI-related experiments. LI is extremely robust, appearing in all mammalian species that have been tested and across many different learning paradigms.


  • latent inhibition;
  • attention;
  • schizophrenia;
  • learning