Document Detail

The role of response-contingent incentives in lithium chloride-mediated suppression of an operant response.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2164238     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Three experiments investigated what role a novel incentive plays in the development of operant response suppression mediated by lithium chloride. In all experiments animals were trained to press two levers under concurrent schedules of reinforcement. In Experiment 1 responding on one lever delivered a familiar incentive (food pellets), whereas responding on an alternative lever delivered a novel incentive (sucrose solution) prior to lithium chloride injections. If lithium was administered immediately after the instrumental session, the action associated with the novel, but not with the familiar, incentive was suppressed. By comparison, in a control group for which responding on both levers led to the familiar incentive, both actions were suppressed. Experiment 2 examined whether the novelty, rather than the sensory properties, of the incentive is crucial for observing performance suppression. It was found that animals familiarized with the "target" incentive were insensitive to aversion conditioning by lithium, in that there was no difference in response rates between the action that delivered the familiar incentive from that which earned the "target". In contrast, if animals were unfamiliar with the "target" incentive at the time of aversion conditioning, they suppressed responding on the lever that was associated with the novel incentive but did not suppress responding on the lever associated with the familiar incentive. Experiment 3 investigated the mechanism underlying instrumental performance suppression. After the completion of concurrent lever press training, novel sucrose was introduced in conjunction with the pellets for responding on one lever; responding on the other lever continued to deliver only familiar pellets. Lithium injections were then administered either immediately following the sessions or several hours after the sessions. It was found that the rate of responding on the lever associated with the contingent delivery of sucrose was suppressed below that of the pellet-alone action. By comparison, if lithium injections were administered several hours following the session, an elevation in responding on the sucrose-plus-pellet lever was observed. The outcomes of all three experiments demonstrate not only that the novelty of an incentive is important in obtaining performance suppression, but also that a novel incentive can punish instrumental responding if it has been associated with toxicosis.
C L Meachum
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology. B, Comparative and physiological psychology     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0272-4995     ISO Abbreviation:  Q J Exp Psychol B     Publication Date:  1990 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1990-08-13     Completed Date:  1990-08-13     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8107270     Medline TA:  Q J Exp Psychol B     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  175-95     Citation Subset:  IM    
University of Cambridge, U.K.
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning / drug effects*
Avoidance Learning / drug effects*
Chlorides / pharmacology*
Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
Learning / drug effects*
Lithium / pharmacology*
Lithium Chloride
Rats, Inbred Strains
Taste / drug effects*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Chlorides; 7439-93-2/Lithium; 7447-41-8/Lithium Chloride

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

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