Document Detail

Time horizons in rats: the effect of operant control of access to future food.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3209957     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The primary goal of this experiment was to determine whether the addition of an operant requirement for access to a less costly (continuous reinforcement) patch of future food increased the time horizon over which that future patch decreased intake in a currently available depleting (progressive-ratio) patch. Three groups of 4 rats were tested. Each member of the earned-time group was required to cumulate a fixed-time outside the progressive-ratio patch to obtain access to food in the less costly patch; the fixed-time requirement ranged from 2 to 64 min. Rats in the matched-time group received response-independent access to less costly food at the average delay shown by the earned-time group. Rats in the matched-time no-food group were removed from the chamber at the same average delay without receiving access to less costly food. Two of the earned-time rats showed an increased time horizon relative to that shown by the matched-time rats (approaching 40 min for 1 rat). The other 2 earned-time rats markedly increased instrumental responding but showed suppression of intake only when food was less than 20 min away. The matched-time group showed less suppression of intake over a similar range of delay intervals. Surprisingly, the matched-time no-food animals also showed suppression of intake concentrated at the end of the session, possibly reflecting the receipt of their entire daily ration 30 min after the session. The potential importance of time horizons to the foraging process is clear, but experimenters are still working out paradigms for investigation of these horizons.
W Timberlake; D J Gawley; G A Lucas
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0022-5002     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Anal Behav     Publication Date:  1988 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1989-02-23     Completed Date:  1989-02-23     Revised Date:  2010-09-09    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  405-17     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405.
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MeSH Terms
Appetitive Behavior*
Conditioning, Operant*
Problem Solving
Rats, Inbred Strains
Time Perception*
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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