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Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova. 2005 Jan-Feb;55(1):31-42.

[Choice between probability and value of alimentary reinforcement as means for revealing individual typological features of dog behavior].

[Article in Russian]

Abstract

Individual typological features of behavior of dogs were investigated by the method of choice between the low-valuable food available constantly and food of high quality presented with low probability. Animals were subjected to instrumental conditioning with the same conditioned stimuli but different types of reinforcement. Depression of a white pedal was always reinforced with meat-bread-crumb mixture, depression of a black pedal was reinforced with two pieces of liver (with probabilities of 100, 40, 33, 20, or 0%). The choice of reinforcement depended on probability of valuable food and individual typological features of the nervous system of a dog. Decreasing the probability of the reinforcement value to 40-20% revealed differences in behavior of dogs. Dogs of the first group, presumably with the weak type of the nervous system, more frequently pressed the white pedal (always reinforced) than the black pedal thus "avoiding a situation of risk" to receive an empty cup. They displayed symptoms of neurosis: whimper, refusals of food or of the choice of reinforcement, and obtrusive movements. Dogs of the second group, presumably with the strong type of the nervous system, more frequently pressed the black pedal (more valuable food) for the low-probability reward until they obtained the valuable food. They did not show neurosis symptoms and were not afraid of "situation of risk". A decrease in probability of the valuable reinforcement increased a percentage of long-latency depressions of pedals. It can be probably suggested that this phenomenon was associated with increasing involvement of cognitive processes, when contributions of the assessments of probability and value of the reinforcement to decision making became approximately equal. Choice between the probability and value of alimentary reinforcement is a good method for revealing individual typological features of dogs.

PMID:
15828420
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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