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J Exp Anal Behav. 1985 Nov;44(3):377-89.

Oral drug self-administration in rhesus monkeys: interactions between drug amount and fixed-ratio size.


During daily 3-hr sessions, 5 rhesus monkeys drank drug solutions and water that were concurrently available. The drug solutions were: 1 milligram per milliliter (mg/mL) pentobarbital (2 monkeys), 1 mg/mL pentobarbital plus 0.5% ethanol (1 monkey), 1 mg/mL pentobarbital plus 1% ethanol (1 monkey), and 8% ethanol (1 monkey). The drug solution and water were available under identical two-component tandem fixed-ratio continuous-reinforcement N schedules. Two variables were manipulated: the size of the fixed-ratio component and the number of liquid deliveries (N) in the second component. Deliveries of the drug solution maintained higher rates of responding than did deliveries of the drug vehicle, water. The number of drug deliveries per session increased with increases in the number of deliveries per fixed ratio and decreased with increases in fixed-ratio size. Analysis of the results in terms of the proportion of deliveries to responses showed that the number of drug deliveries per session was directly related to the size of this quotient. Finally, when fixed-ratio size was repeatedly doubled, the following orderly relationship emerged: The greater the number of available drug deliveries per fixed ratio, the less was the percent decrease in the number of fixed ratios completed per session. It was concluded that increases in the number of liquid deliveries per fixed ratio resulted in increases in reinforcing efficacy.

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