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Compounding of discriminative stimuli associated with schedules controlling different rates of responding in the absence of stimuli



Compounding of discriminative stimuli associated with schedules controlling different rates of responding in the absence of stimuli



Psychological Record 28(1): 147-156



Rats were maintained on a fixed-interval (FI) 10-s schedule of food reinforcement during light and tone. Either variable-interval (VI) 33, 43, or 90 s or tandem variable-time (tand VT) 25.5 or 35.5 s differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) 7.5-s schedules of food reinforcement were associated with the absence of light and tone. The VI schedules maintained rates of responding substantially greater than zero (20.0, 10.4 and 7.2 responses/min. for VI 33, 43 and 90 s, respectively). The tandem schedules controlled near cessation of responding (1.6 and 1.0 responses/min. for the 25.5- and 35.5-s components, respectively). Each of these rates was significantly less than the rate of responding controlled by the respective light- and tone-associated FI schedules. When light and tone were combined, frequent and significant additive summation occurred only when the tandem schedules were associated with the absence of light and tone; the compound controlled a higher rate of responding than did either light or tone. With the VI schedules there was no significant difference between the rates during the compound and at least 1 of the single stimuli. The distribution of reinforcers and absolute differences in responding in the presence of the stimuli relative to those in their absence could not account for the differences obtained between the VI and tandem schedules during compounding. In order for significant additive summation to occur, the rate of responding in the absence of the stimuli must be near zero.

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Accession: 005024174

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