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ESCAPE FROM SD ASSOCIATED WITH FIXED-RATIO REINFORCEMENT.

Authors
  • THOMPSON, D M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1964
Volume
7
Pages
1–8
Identifiers
PMID: 14120132
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Throughout ascending and descending fixed-ratio (FR) sequences, rats were allowed to terminate the FR stimulus control by pressing a time-out (TO) lever. To minimize chance or accidental responses on this second lever, three presses were required to produce the 30-sec S(Delta) period. As FR performance became more "strained," there was an increased predisposition to escape from the time-in stimulus complex. The generality of this finding was extended by obtaining recoverability (independent of the direction of stimulus change) of the FR-TO function in the descending series. Typically, escapes were produced only during the post-reinforcement pause; however, under a mixed FR FR schedule, their occurrence shifted to a point within the inter-reinforcement interval corresponding to the unreinforced completion of the lower ratio component. It appears that the point where the rat can discriminate the size of the ratio requirement will be the place where TOs are imposed. This inference was supported by a substantial increase in TO frequency accompanying a shift from CRF to extinction on the FR lever. Finally, the escape lever was placed on a progressively increasing FR schedule and later extinguished to demonstrate that the TO condition was in fact reinforcing.

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