Strength of preference for food, magnitude of food reward, and performance in instrumental conditioning

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Strength of hungry rats' preference for food (F) (defined as the proportion of time spent with food rather than rat or plaything) was measured in an assessment maze. Running a T maze and a straight alley for food reward, Ss higher in F ran faster and made fewer errors than Ss lower in F. In a 2nd experiment 2 groups ran a straight alley for large or small food reward. Response speed increased as a function of F and magnitude of food reward. The interaction between F and magnitude of reward was nonsignificant. F and hours of food deprivation were compared in terms of effects on instrumental performance for food. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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