Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Spontaneous Recovery

  • Androulla Ioannou
  • Xenia Anastassiou-HadjicharalambousEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1031-1


The recovery of a habituated response.


Spontaneous recovery is a phenomenon encountered within non-associative learning processes.

The Process of Spontaneous Recovery

In a series of experiments undergone by Rankin and Broster (1992) on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans,mechanical stimuli were delivered at four interstimulus intervals (2, 10, 30, and 60 s) in order to investigate the effect of interstimulus intervals in the development and maintenance of habituation. Results indicated that recovery from habituation was dependent on some factors. One of these factors is the length of interstimulus intervals; it was observed that recovery from habituation was faster when short interstimulus intervals were applied rather than longer interstimulus intervals. That is, long-term habituation prevents recovery. Also, the rate of recovery varied according to which response level each subject exhibited on the habituation curve. The recovery of animals on the lowest...


Spontaneous Recovery Interstimulus Interval Longer Interstimulus Habituation Curve Habituation Training 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Rankin, C. H., & Broster, B. S. (1992). Factors affecting habituation and recovery from habituation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Behavioral Neuroscience, 106(2), 239.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Rankin, C. H., Abrams, T., Barry, R. J., Bhatnager, S., Clayton, D. F., Colombo, J., Coppola, G., Geyer, M. A., Glanzman, D. L., Marsland, S., McSweeney, F. K., Wilson, D. A., Chun-Fang, W., & Thompson, R. F. (2009). Habituation revisited: An updated and revised description of the behavioral characteristics of habituation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 92(2), 135–138.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Thompson, R. F., & Spencer, W. A. (1966). Habituation: A model phenomenon for the study of neuronal substrates of behavior. Psychological Review, 73, 16–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Androulla Ioannou
    • 1
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus