Document Detail

Responding for sucrose and wheel-running reinforcement: effect of body weight manipulation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15222966     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
As body weight increases, the excitatory strength of a stimulus signaling an opportunity to run should weaken to a greater degree than that of a stimulus signaling an opportunity to eat. To test this hypothesis, six male albino Wistar rats were placed in running wheels and exposed to a fixed interval 30-s schedule that produced either a drop of 15% sucrose solution or the opportunity to run for 15s as reinforcing consequences for lever pressing. Each reinforcer type was signaled by a different stimulus. The effect of varying body weight on responding maintained by these two reinforcers was investigated by systematically increasing and decreasing post-session food amounts. The initial body weight was 335 g. Body weights were increased to approximately 445 g and subsequently returned to 335 g. As body weight increased, overall and local lever-pressing rates decreased while post-reinforcement pauses lengthened. Analysis of post-reinforcement pauses and local lever-pressing rates in terms of transitions between successive reinforcers revealed that local response rates in the presence of stimuli signaling upcoming wheel and sucrose reinforcers were similarly affected. However, pausing in the presence of the stimulus signaling a wheel-running reinforcer lengthened to a greater extent than did pausing in the presence of the stimulus signaling sucrose. This result suggests that as body weight approaches ad-lib levels, the likelihood of initiation of responding to obtain an opportunity to run approaches zero and the animal "rejects" the opportunity to run in a manner similar to the rejection of less preferred food items in studies of food selectivity.
Terry W Belke
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0376-6357     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2004 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-06-29     Completed Date:  2004-08-19     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  189-99     Citation Subset:  IM    
Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada E4L 1C7.
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning / drug effects
Body Weight / drug effects,  physiology*
Conditioning, Operant* / drug effects
Rats, Wistar
Reinforcement (Psychology)*
Sucrose / administration & dosage
Reg. No./Substance:

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