Satiation Causes Within-Session Decreases in Instrumental Responding

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The amount of food necessary to cause within-session decreases in response rates was investigated by varying reinforcer duration (Experiment 1) and grain size (Experiment 2). Within-session response rates quickly increases to a peak, and the decrease throughout the rest of the session was greater for conditions with larger amounts of food. The decreases were greatest for the pigeons that ate the least when food was freely available. Previous studies of within-session changes in responding are reviewed and reinterpreted. It was concluded that satiation causes the decrease in responding and that this effect is not restricted to extreme manipulations of the amount of food consumed.

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