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Adjusting fixed-ratio schedules in the squirrel monkey

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Abstract

On an adjusting schedule of reinforcement, a parameter of the schedule is varied as a function of some characteristic of the animal's performance. In Experiment I, the fixed-ratio response requirement was varied as a function of the time that elapsed before the animal started responding in each fixed-ratio (initial pause). When initial pauses were shorter than a specified duration, the response requirement was increased; when they were longer than the specified duration, the response requirement was decreased. Specified durations of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 15 min were studied. The average response requirement maintained by each monkey was directly related to the length of the specified duration of initial pause. In Experiment II, the fixed-ratio response requirement was constant, but reinforcement occurred only when the initial pause was longer than a specified duration. The average durations of initial pauses were directly related to the length of the specified duration and to the response requirement. Meprobamate consistently decreased the average durations of initial pauses.

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