The influence of reward on alternation behavior


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Abstract

5 groups of rats, 10 per group, were given 7 free-choice trials in a T maze with 1 stem blocked. 6 trials were from the same stem; the 7th from the opposite stem. Reinforcement was complete reduction of electric shock in both goal stems. Shock intensity was varied over the 5 groups. 2 other groups received 2 trials from the same stem with shock intensity varied, 1 group receiving high shock followed by low, the other, low, then high. “It was found that: (a) the probability of the recurrence of the Trial 1 response on Trial 2 was an increasing montonic function of the magnitude of shock intensity; (b) repetition of the Trial 1 response was a direct function of the magnitude of reinforcement (shock reduction) on Trial 1 and not level of motivation (shock induction) on Trial 2; (c) over six trials, response repetition was an increasing linear function of the magnitude of reinforcement, and (d) reinforcement tended to be associated with stimulus (place) components rather than turning responses.” From Psyc Abstracts 36:01:1EL20F. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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