The partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) in female Roman high- (RHA-I) and low-avoidance (RLA-I) rats.

Department of Psychology, University of Jaén, Paraje de Las Lagunillas s/n, Edif. D-2, 23071 Jaén, Spain.
Behavioural Brain Research (Impact Factor: 3.39). 01/2009; 194(2):187-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.07.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present experiment was designed with the goal of studying the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) in female inbred Roman high- (RHA-I) and low-avoidance (RLA-I) rats. Two groups of RHA-I and two of RLA-I food-deprived animals were placed in a straight alley where they were partially or continuously reinforced. Once the animals reached the acquisition criterion, they were exposed to an extinction phase where the reinforcement was omitted. During the extinction phase RHA-I animals continuously reinforced during acquisition exhibited more resistance to extinction than their RLA-I counterparts, whereas only RLA-I rats partially reinforced during acquisition showed an increased resistance to extinction in comparison to continuously reinforced control RLA-I rats, this PREE being absent in RHA-I animals. These results are discussed within the framework of PREE theories that account for this effect by using emotional mechanisms, as pertains to the repeatedly observed RHA-RLA differences in emotional reactivity.

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    ABSTRACT: When rats have access to a 32% sucrose solution and the concentration is decreased to 4%, the animals drink less than those that were always exposed to the 4% solution. This phenomenon is called consummatory Successive Negative Contrast (cSNC) and is considered an animal model of frustration. Existing evidence shows that in a light-dark test, rats prefer to stay in the dark compartment, which suggests an unconditioned fear response to illuminated places. Two experiments were conducted in which the preference of rats in a light-dark test was assessed during a cSNC (Experiment 1) and during a Consummatory Extinction (Ec, access to an empty water tube, Experiment 2) in order to assess the correlation between the first reaction to the devaluation or to the omission of reinforcers with unconditioned fear responses to dark places. Results showed that the rats that spent more time in the dark place spent less time in contact with the water tube during the first reinforcer-devaluation trial (Experiment 1) and during the first minute of the first Ec trial (Experiment 2). The relation of these results and Amsel (1958), Gray (1987), and Flaherty's theories is discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract One-way avoidance learning: Differences between genetically selected males and females: The Roman high-(RHA) and low-(RLA) avoidance rats were selected, respectively, for good vs. poor acquisition of two-way active avoidance, these behavioral differences being modulated by sex and environmental influences. In this study, inbred male and female Roman rats were exposed to a one-way avoidance task in which the time spent in the safe compartment was manipulated in two phases. In the pre-shift phase, animals were exposed to 30 s vs. 1 s in safety. In the post-shift phase, the time in safety was devaluated for Groups 30-1 (successive negative contrast). The results showed that, in both phases, strain differences were observed only in female rats, the RLA-I strain being poorer than the RHA-I strain. The present data show an interaction among genes, sex, and time in safety that influences one-way avoidance behavior.
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    ABSTRACT: Two recent microarray and qRT-PCR studies showed that inbred Roman High- (RHA-I, low anxiety and frustration vulnerability) and Low-Avoidance (RLA-I, high anxiety and frustration vulnerability) rats, psychogenetically selected on the basis of their divergence in two-way avoidance performance, differed in basal whole-brain and hippocampal expression of genes related to neurotransmission, emotion, stress, aversive learning, and drug seeking behavior. We have extended these studies by analyzing strain differences in hippocampal gene expression following a frustrative experience involving reward downshift, i.e. instrumental successive negative contrast (iSNC), a phenomenon in which the sudden reduction of an expected reward induces frustration/anxiety. Food-deprived male Roman rats were exposed to a reduction in the amount of solid food presented in the goal of a straight alley (from 12 pellets in "training" trials-i.e. preshift trials- to 2 pellets in "frustration testing" trials-i.e. postshift trials-). The iSNC effect, as measured by response latencies in the "postshift" trials, appeared only in RLA- I rats (i.e. higher response latencies in the 12-2 RLA-I group as compared to the 2-2 RLA-I control group in postshift trials). Two and a half hours after the "postshift" behavioral test, hippocampi were removed and stored (-80°C) until analysis. Microarray analysis of these hippocampi showed that four differentially-expressed, and qRT-PCR-validated genes (TAAR2, THAP1, PKD2L1, NANOS), have relevance for brain function and behavior, including schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and drug addiction, thus showing the usefulness of Roman strains as a genetic model for research on the neurogenetic basis of frustration.
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May 22, 2014