Self-Control Choices Using Running Reinforcement
Rats were given a choice between two amounts of a run-reward after responding on one of two equidistant levers. Responding on one lever resulted in the delivery of a smaller, immediate access to a running wheel (Impulsive) while responding on the other lever resulted in the delivery of larger but delayed access to a running wheel (Self-control). A variable inter-trial-interval was used to control the session duration regardless of the distribution of choices made by the subject. The results demonstrate that the use of a wheel-running reinforcer results in a significant self-control choice bias. This suggests that the use of a wheel-running reinforcer can be used alongside food and water reinforcers without having to undergo caloric deprivation. This study demonstrates that the use of a running reinforcer may be a potentially powerful motivator in choice studies among rats.
Advisor:Dr. Allen Szalda-Petree; Dr. Nabil Haddad; Dr. Wendy Shields; Dr. Stuart Hall; Dr. Jerry Smith
School:The University of Montana
School Location:USA - Montana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:02/06/2008