University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Faculty - Mark Bouton

Mark Bouton

Mark Bouton, Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professor of Psychology

  • B.A. Williams College, 1975
  • Ph.D. University of Washington, 1980
C.V. (PDF)

Assistant Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program

Contact Information
Phone: (802) 656-4164
Office Location: Dewey Hall, Room 354


The goal of my research is to understand the basic mechanisms of learning, memory, and emotion that are represented in Pavlovian and instrumental learning, two of the most fundamental examples of associative learning that we know. I have been especially interested in extinction and other inhibitory processes in learning and memory, and how "contexts," or cues that are present in the background whenever learning and remembering occur, control them. In Pavlovian and instrumental learning, the context can include external cues provided by the setting or environment, the internal state created by drugs, emotions, recent events, and even the passage of time. Members of my lab and I study all of these things. I am especially interested in:

  • the implications of our findings for theories of conditioning and associative learning, theories of memory, and theories of certain clinical issues, such as anxiety disorders, drug dependence, eating and overeating, and especially relapse after therapy.
  • the brain mechanisms behind our effects.
  • learning itself, which I see as the essential process by which humans and animals adapt to the environment during their lives.

Bouton Laboratory
Research in the Bouton Laboratory examines basic behavioral processes in learning, memory and emotion, and how time and context influence them.

Green and Gold Professorship
The Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professorship in Psychology was established in 2010 by the Segal & Davis Family Foundation of Charlestown, W.V., in honor of Dr. Robert B. Lawson, who retired in May of 2010 from UVM's Department of Psychological Science. The professorship was founded to support teaching, service and research in the Department of Psychological Science.

Representative Publications

  • Bouton, M. E., Winterbauer, N. E., & Todd, T. P. (2012). Relapse processes after the extinction of instrumental learning: Renewal, resurgence, and reacquisition. Behavioural Processes, 90, 130-141.
  • Todd, T. P., Winterbauer, N. E., & Bouton, M. E. (2012). Contextual control of appetite: Renewal of inhibited food-seeking behavior in sated rats after extinction. Appetite, 58, 484-489.
  • Vurbic, D., & Bouton, M. E. (2011). Secondary extinction in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Learning & Behavior, 39, 202-211.
  • Bouton, M. E., & Hendrix, M. C. (2011). Intertrial interval as a contextual stimulus: Further analysis of a novel asymmetry in temporal discrimination learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 37, 79-93.
  • Bouton, M. E. (2010). The multiple forms of “context” in associative learning theory. In B. Mesquita, L. Feldman Barrett, & E. Smith (Eds.), The mind in context (pp. 233-258). New York: The Guilford Press.
  • Epstein, L. H., Temple, J. L., Roemmich, J. N., & Bouton, M. E. (2009). Habituation as a determinant of human food intake. Psychological Review, 116, 384-407.
  • Bouton, M. E., & Woods, A. M. (2008). Extinction: Behavioral mechanisms and their implications. In J. H. Byrne, D. Sweatt, R. Menzel, H. Eichenbaum, & H. Roediger (Eds.), Learning and memory: A comprehensive reference (Vol. 1, Learning Theory and Behaviour, pp. 151-171). Oxford: Elsevier.


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