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Behav Processes. 2013 Sep;98:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Sensitivity to delay is affected by magnitude of reinforcement in rats.

Author information

1
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F. 04510, Mexico. vladord@unam.mx

Abstract

Previous research has provided discrepant results about how reinforcement delay and magnitude are combined to determine the value of the alternatives in concurrent-chains schedules. In the present experiment, we analyzed a possible interaction between these characteristics of reinforcement, employing a two component concurrent-chains schedule, with rats as experimental subjects. Non-independent VI schedules were presented in the initial links of each component. In the terminal links, the following pairs of delays to reinforcement were presented in 4 conditions: 2-28, 6-24, 24-6, 28-2s (fixed time schedules for a group, fixed interval schedules for the other). Magnitude of reinforcement was maintained constant within components: one pellet for one component, and four pellets for the other. The results indicated that in both groups, the sensitivity to delay - calculated according to the generalized matching law - was higher in the component with the larger reinforcer. This result is in contrast with those reported in the literature of temporal discounting with human participants.

KEYWORDS:

Concurrent chains; Generalized matching law; Magnitude of reinforcement; Rats; Sensitivity to delay; Temporal discounting

PMID:
23624099
DOI:
10.1016/j.beproc.2013.04.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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