Affordable Access

A quantitative interresponse-time analysis of DRL performance differentiates similar effects of the antidepressant desipramine and the novel anxiolytic gepirone.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Publication Date
Volume
56
Issue
2
Pages
173–192
Identifiers
PMID: 1683359
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We describe an interresponse-time analysis of performance on a differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate 72-s schedule. This analysis compares the obtained interresponse-time distribution of individual rats to a corresponding random interresponse-time distribution. The random interresponse-time distribution is a negative exponential probability function; it predicts the relative distribution of interresponse times if the rat emitted the same number of responses randomly (i.e., with a constant probability) with respect to time. The analysis provides quantitative measures of peak location and dispersion of the interresponse times toward random performance. In Experiment 1, an unexpected outcome of this analysis was that the rats would have obtained more reinforcers had they responded at the same rate but randomly. Based on the interresponse-time analysis in Experiment 1, it was shown that rats trained on the differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate 72-s schedule could increase the number of reinforcers obtained in two ways: first, by a coherent shift of the interresponse-time distribution toward longer durations and, second, by dispersal of the interresponse times toward a random interresponse-time distribution. Experiment 2 applied the analysis described in Experiment 1 to the effects of desipramine and gepirone. Both drugs decreased response rate and increased reinforcement rate, but their effects on the distribution of interresponse times were different. The increase in reinforcement rate observed with desipramine was accompanied by a coherent shift of the reinforcement rate observed with gepirone was accompanied by dispersal of the interresponse-time distribution toward the random negative exponential prediction.

Statistics

Seen <100 times