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J Exp Anal Behav. 1985 Mar;43(2):243-55.

The roles of stimulus control and reinforcement frequency in modulating the behavioral effects of d-amphetamine in the rat.


The behavioral effects of d-amphetamine have been shown to be modulated by stimulus control, with less impairment of performance occurring when control is great. When the fixed-consecutive-number schedule is used (on which at least a specified consecutive number of responses must be made on one operandum before a single response on another will produce a reinforcer), response rate tends to be invariant but reinforcement frequency is not. This study asks whether the differences in reinforcement frequency that usually accompany changes in stimulus control could themselves be responsible for the performance differences. Two versions of the fixed-consecutive-number schedule of reinforcement were combined into a multiple schedule within which stimulus control was varied but differences in reinforcement frequency were minimized by omitting some reinforcer deliveries during the component that usually had the higher reinforcement frequency. In one component, a compound discriminative stimulus was added with the eighth consecutive response on the first lever; a single response on the second lever was then reinforced. In the other component, no such stimulus was presented. With no added stimulus, large decreases occurred in the number of runs satisfying the minimum requirement for reinforcement at doses of drug that produced only minimal changes when an added stimulus controlled behavior. Thus, increased stimulus control diminishes the behavioral changes produced by d-amphetamine even when the possible contribution by baseline reinforcement rate is minimized.

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