FIGURE 13.2. Outcome devaluation.


Outcome devaluation. In outcome devaluation treatments, changes in the value of the goal on the performance of goal-directed actions are assessed. Typically (top panels) rats are trained on two actions (here two levers), each earning a different outcome (left panel). After this phase, one or other outcome is devalued by taste aversion learning (center panel). When the outcome is no longer consumed, the tendency of the rats to perform the two actions is tested in the training situation in extinction. Typically, rats reduce performance on the action that, in training, delivered the now devalued outcome. The bottom panels illustrate the procedure of Rescorla (1990) demonstrating that this effect depends on taste processing (see also Balleine and Dickinson 1998a). Here the two outcomes were water with either hydrochloric acid or quinine added. Hence, changes in the tendency to perform one or other action must reflect the ability of the rats to integrate sensory information about outcome identity in training with the current incentive value established during devaluation.

From: Chapter 13, Sensation, Incentive Learning, and the Motivational Control of Goal-Directed Action

Cover of Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward
Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward.
Gottfried JA, editor.
Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011.
Copyright © 2011 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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