Document Detail

Species differences between rats and pigeons in choices with probabilistic and delayed reinforcers.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17343994     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An adjusting-delay procedure was used to study rats' choices with probabilistic and delayed reinforcers, and to compare them with previous results from pigeons. A left lever press led to a 5-s delay signaled by a light and a tone, followed by a food pellet on 50% of the trials. A right lever press led to an adjusting delay signaled by a light followed by a food pellet on 100% of the trials. In some conditions, the light and tone for the probabilistic reinforcer were present only on trials that delivered food. In other conditions, the light and tone were present on all trials that the left lever was chosen. Similar studies with pigeons [Mazur, J.E., 1989. Theories of probabilistic reinforcement. J. Exp. Anal. Behav. 51, 87-99; Mazur, J.E., 1991. Conditioned reinforcement and choice with delayed and uncertain primary reinforcers. J. Exp. Anal. Behav. 63, 139-150] found that choice of the probabilistic reinforcer increased dramatically when the delay-interval stimuli were omitted on no-food trials, but this study found no such effect with the rats. In other conditions, the probability of food was varied, and comparisons to previous studies with pigeons indicated that rats showed greater sensitivity to decreasing reinforcer probabilities. The results support the hypothesis that rats' choices in these situations depend on the total time between a choice response and a reinforcer, whereas pigeons' choices are strongly influenced by the presence of delay-interval stimuli.
James E Mazur
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2007-02-08
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  75     ISSN:  0376-6357     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2007 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-04-24     Completed Date:  2007-07-06     Revised Date:  2007-12-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  220-4     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychology Department, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning / physiology*
Choice Behavior / physiology*
Probability Learning*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Reinforcement (Psychology)*
Species Specificity
Time Factors
Time Perception / physiology*
Grant Support

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