Response duration is sensitive to both immediate and delayed reinforcement.

Abstract:

:We investigated the duration of lever pressing by rats when the delivery of appetitive reinforcers was contingent upon response duration. In the first experiment, response durations increased when duration requirements were imposed, and they decreased when duration requirements were removed. This effect occurred whether reinforcers were immediate or delayed by 8 s. In order to maintain the integrity of the delay intervals, reinforcer delivery was dependent upon both lever depression and release. In a second experiment, lever depression only and a response duration of at least 4 s were required for reinforcer delivery. Compared to immediate reinforcement conditions, delayed reinforcers increased both variability and the length of the maximum response durations. In a third experiment, immediate reinforcers were delivered contingent upon lever depression and release under a variety of duration requirements. Median lever-press durations tracked the contingencies rapidly. Across all three experiments, rats emitted numerous response durations that were too short to satisfy the reinforcer requirements, and bimodal distributions similar to those produced by differential reinforcement of low rate schedules were evident for most rats. In many aspects, response duration responds to reinforcement parameters in a fashion similar to rate of discrete responding, but an examination of this continuous dimension of behavior may provide additional information about environment-behavior relationships.

journal_name

J Exp Anal Behav

authors

Byrne T,Sarno B

doi

10.1002/jeab.491

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-01-01 00:00:00

pages

94-115

issue

1

eissn

0022-5002

issn

1938-3711

journal_volume

111

pub_type

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