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Neurosci Lett. 2012 Mar 5;511(1):8-11. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.12.068. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Stimulus dynamics increase the self-administration of compound visual and auditory stimuli.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-0615, USA. colsen@mcw.edu


Animals will acquire an operant task using sensory stimuli as a primary reinforcer. Many operant tasks use sensory stimuli as cues that are paired with other primary reinforcers. Recent studies have called attention to this potential confound, but there has not been a parametric assessment of the effect of stimulus variability on operant responding. We found that stimulus variability increased the amount of operant responding exhibited by mice, a phenomenon observed under both fixed- and progressive-ratio schedules.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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