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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of the type of reinforcer on renewal of operant responding


Some studies have identified that ABA renewal seems to depend on how response-reinforcer contingency is established. Using rats as subjects, the present study assessed ABA and ABB renewal using a two-component multiple schedule (VI30 s - VI30 s) each with a different reinforcer (pellets or sucrose). 16 subjects were trained to lever-press during 20 sessions in Context A; lever-pressing was extinguished during 10 sessions in Context B. And for the renewal test, 8 subjects were tested in Context A (Group ABA); whereas, the rest were tested in Context B (Group ABB). During acquisition, response rates were higher on the pellets component than the sucrose component; during extinction, response rates decreased to near-zero responses. A renewal effect was observed only for Group ABA during test, showing no differences between components. Our results suggest that different type of reinforcers do not seem to affect ABA renewal, using different contexts allows for renewal to be observed regardless of the differences in response rates during acquisition.


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