The effect of reinforcement upon activity during cyclic food deprivation

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Rats being maintained on 23-hour food deprivation were given one hour access to an activity wheel every second day. One group was fed immediately after their hour in the wheel, while the other group was detained in a neutral box for one hour before feeding. By the 15th running session the immediately reinforced animals' activity was 28% greater than the delayed group. “The results demonstrate that reinforcement can, unless controlled, invalidate running-wheel activity as a measure of drive.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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