Document Detail

Within-session rates of responding when reinforcer magnitude is changed within the session.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14977028     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In the present experiment, the authors investigated the idea that within-session changes in operant response rates occur because subjects sensitize and then habituate to the reinforcer. If that is true, then altering an aspect of the reinforcer within the session should alter the observed within-session responding. The authors tested that idea by having rats press a lever for 2 food-pellet reinforcers delivered by a variable-interval 120-s schedule during 60-min baseline sessions. In treatment conditions, the magnitude of the reinforcer was halved (1 pellet) or doubled (4 pellets) 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 min into the session. That magnitude of reinforcement then remained in effect for the rest of the session. Altering reinforcer magnitude altered the rates of responding within the session in a fashion consistent with the habituation explanation, that is, response rates increased, relative to baseline, when the magnitude of reinforcement was increased. They decreased when the magnitude was decreased. Those results were seemingly inconsistent with the competing idea that within-session decreases in responding rates are produced by satiation.
Jeffrey N Weatherly; Frances K McSweeney; Samantha Swindell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of general psychology     Volume:  131     ISSN:  0022-1309     ISO Abbreviation:  J Gen Psychol     Publication Date:  2004 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-02-23     Completed Date:  2004-05-17     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985111R     Medline TA:  J Gen Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  5-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks 58202-8380, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal / physiology
Conditioning, Operant
Feeding Behavior
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Reinforcement (Psychology)*

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