Document Detail

Reinforcer devaluation by extinction depends on the food restriction protocol.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22469648     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
A common feature of reinforcer devaluation studies is that new learning induces the devaluation. The present study used extinction to induce new learning about the conditioned reinforcer in a heterogeneous chain schedule. Rats pressed a lever in a heterogeneous chain schedule to produce a conditioned reinforcer (light) associated with the opportunity to obtain an unconditioned reinforcer (food) by pulling a chain. The density of food reinforcement correlated with the conditioned reinforcer was varied in a comparison of continuous and variable-ratio reinforcement schedules of chain pulling; this had no noticeable effect on conditioned reinforcer devaluation produced by extinction of chain pulling. In contrast, how rats were deprived appeared to matter very much. Restricting meal duration to 1h daily produced more lever pressing during baseline training and a greater reductive effect of devaluation on lever pressing than restricting body weight to 80% of a control rat's weight, which eliminated the devaluation effect. Further analysis suggested that meal-duration restriction may have produced devaluation effects because it was more effective than weight restriction in reducing rats' body weights. Our results exposed an important limitation on the devaluation of conditioned reinforcers: slight differences in food restriction, using two commonly employed food-restriction procedures, can produce completely different interpretations of reinforcer devaluation while leaving reinforcer-based learning intact.
Tyson W Baker; Ronald G Weisman; Richard J Beninger
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-26
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-8308     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-3     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Department of Psychology, Queen's University, 62 Arch Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Canada.
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