Terry W Belke

Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada

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Publications (37)47.7 Total impact

  • Terry W Belke, W David Pierce
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    ABSTRACT: The current study investigated the effect of motivational manipulations on operant wheel running for sucrose reinforcement and on wheel running as a behavioral consequence for lever pressing, within the same experimental context. Specifically, rats responded on a two-component multiple schedule of reinforcement in which lever pressing produced the opportunity to run in a wheel in one component of the schedule (reinforcer component) and wheel running produced the opportunity to consume sucrose solution in the other component (operant component). Motivational manipulations involved removal of sucrose contingent on wheel running and providing 1h of pre-session wheel running. Results showed that, in opposition to a response strengthening view, sucrose did not maintain operant wheel running. The motivational operations of withdrawing sucrose or providing pre-session wheel running, however, resulted in different wheel-running rates in the operant and reinforcer components of the multiple schedule; this rate discrepancy revealed the extrinsic reinforcing effects of sucrose on operant wheel running, but also indicated the intrinsic reinforcement value of wheel running across components. Differences in wheel-running rates between components were discussed in terms of arousal, undermining of intrinsic motivation, and behavioral contrast.
    Behavioural processes 11/2013; · 1.53 Impact Factor
  • Terry W. Belke
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research showed that sucrose and wheel-running reinforcement of leverpressing generate different response rate asymptotes. To investigate the basis of this difference, the present study assessed the role of inhibitory after-effects and excitatory stimulus effects on measures of responding in rats exposed to fixed-interval schedules that randomly produced either sucrose or wheel-running reinforcers. Different discriminative stimuli were associated with each reinforcer type. Inhibitory aftereffects and excitatory stimulus effects were assessed by the pattern of postreinforcement pauses and local response rates across the four different combinations of previous and upcoming reinforcer types: wheel-wheel, wheel-sucrose, sucrose-wheel, and sucrose-sucrose. Results showed that, regardless of the prior type of reinforcer, response rates were higher and pauses were shorter in the presence of a stimulus signaling sucrose reinforcement. This suggests that differences in response rate asymptotes generated by these qualitatively different reinforcers may have more to do with differences in excitatory stimulus effects than with inhibitory after-effects.
    Learning & Behavior 04/2012; 28(4):332-343. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: Belke (2010) showed that on concurrent ratio schedules, the difference in ratio requirements required to produce near exclusive preference for the lower ratio alternative was substantively greater when the reinforcer was wheel running than when it was sucrose. The current study replicated this finding and showed that this choice behavior can be described by the matching law and the contingency discriminability model. Eight female Long Evans rats were exposed to concurrent VR schedules of wheel-running reinforcement (30s) and the schedule value of the initially preferred alternative was systematically increased. Two rats rapidly developed exclusive preference for the lower ratio alternative, but the majority did not - even when ratios differed by 20:1. Analysis showed that estimates of slopes from the matching law and the proportion of reinforcers misattributed from the contingency discriminability model were related to the ratios at which near exclusive preference developed. The fit of these models would be consistent with misattribution of reinforcers or poor discrimination between alternatives due to the long duration of wheel running.
    Behavioural processes 03/2012; 90(3):291-301. · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research suggested that allocation of responses on concurrent schedules of wheel-running reinforcement was less sensitive to schedule differences than typically observed with more conventional reinforcers. To assess this possibility, 16 female Long Evans rats were exposed to concurrent FR FR schedules of reinforcement and the schedule value on one alternative was systematically increased. In one condition, the reinforcer on both alternatives was .1 ml of 7.5% sucrose solution; in the other, it was a 30-s opportunity to run in a wheel. Results showed that the average ratio at which greater than 90% of responses were allocated to the unchanged alternative was higher with wheel-running reinforcement. As the ratio requirement was initially increased, responding strongly shifted toward the unchanged alternative with sucrose, but not with wheel running. Instead, responding initially increased on both alternatives, then subsequently shifted toward the unchanged alternative. Furthermore, changeover responses as a percentage of total responses decreased with sucrose, but not wheel-running reinforcement. Finally, for some animals, responding on the increasing ratio alternative decreased as the ratio requirement increased, but then stopped and did not decline with further increments. The implications of these results for theories of choice are discussed.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 09/2010; 94(2):135-58. · 1.07 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke, W David Pierce
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    ABSTRACT: Twelve female Long-Evans rats were exposed to concurrent variable (VR) ratio schedules of sucrose and wheel-running reinforcement (Sucrose VR 10 Wheel VR 10; Sucrose VR 5 Wheel VR 20; Sucrose VR 20 Wheel VR 5) with predetermined budgets (number of responses). The allocation of lever pressing to the sucrose and wheel-running alternatives was assessed at high and low body weights. Results showed that wheel-running rate and lever-pressing rates for sucrose and wheel running increased, but the choice of wheel running decreased at the low body weight. A regression analysis of relative consumption as a function of relative price showed that consumption shifted toward sucrose and interacted with price differences in a manner consistent with increased substitutability. Demand curves showed that demand for sucrose became less elastic while demand for wheel running became more elastic at the low body weight. These findings reflect an increase in the difference in relative value of sucrose and wheel running as body weight decreased. Discussion focuses on the limitations of response rates as measures of reinforcement value. In addition, we address the commonalities between matching and demand curve equations for the analysis of changes in relative reinforcement value.
    Behavioural processes 12/2008; 80(2):147-56. · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    Terry W Belke, Theodore Garland
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    ABSTRACT: Mice from replicate lines, selectively bred based on high daily wheel-running rates, run more total revolutions and at higher average speeds than do mice from nonselected control lines. Based on this difference it was assumed that selected mice would find the opportunity to run in a wheel a more efficacious consequence. To assess this assumption within an operant paradigm, mice must be trained to make a response to produce the opportunity to run as a consequence. In the present study an autoshaping procedure was used to compare the acquisition of lever pressing reinforced by the opportunity to run for a brief opportunity (i.e., 90 s) between selected and control mice and then, using an operant procedure, the effect of the duration of the opportunity to run on lever pressing was assessed by varying reinforcer duration over values of 90 s, 30 min, and 90 s. The reinforcement schedule was a ratio schedule (FR 1 or VR 3). Results from the autoshaping phase showed that more control mice met a criterion of responses on 50% of trials. During the operant phase, when reinforcer duration was 90 s, almost all control, but few selected mice completed a session of 20 reinforcers; however, when reinforcer duration was increased to 30 min almost all selected and control mice completed a session of 20 reinforcers. Taken together, these results suggest that selective breeding based on wheel-running rates over 24 hr may have altered the motivational system in a way that reduces the reinforcing value of shorter running durations. The implications of this finding for these mice as a model for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are discussed. It also is proposed that there may be an inherent trade-off in the motivational system for activities of short versus long duration.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 10/2007; 88(2):199-213. · 1.07 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: Rats were exposed to a fixed interval 30 s schedule that produced opportunities to run of equal or unequal durations to assess the effect of differences in duration on responding. Each duration was signaled by a different stimulus. Wheel-running reinforcer duration pairs were 30 s 30 s, 50 s 10 s, and 55 s 5 s. An analysis of median postreinforcement pause duration and mean local lever-pressing rates broken down by previous reinforcer duration and duration of signaled upcoming reinforcer showed that postreinforcement pause duration was affected by the duration of the previous reinforcer but not by the stimulus signaling the duration of the upcoming reinforcer. Local lever-pressing rates were not affected by either previous or upcoming reinforcer duration. In general, the results are consistent with indifference between these durations obtained using a concurrent choice procedure.
    Behavioural Processes 06/2007; 75(1):72-80. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Across two experiments, a peak procedure was used to assess the timing of the onset and offset of an opportunity to run as a reinforcer. The first experiment investigated the effect of reinforcer duration on temporal discrimination of the onset of the reinforcement interval. Three male Wistar rats were exposed to fixed-interval (FI) 30-s schedules of wheel-running reinforcement and the duration of the opportunity to run was varied across values of 15, 30, and 60s. Each session consisted of 50 reinforcers and 10 probe trials. Results showed that as reinforcer duration increased, the percentage of postreinforcement pauses longer than the 30-s schedule interval increased. On probe trials, peak response rates occurred near the time of reinforcer delivery and peak times varied with reinforcer duration. In a second experiment, seven female Long-Evans rats were exposed to FI 30-s schedules leading to 30-s opportunities to run. Timing of the onset and offset of the reinforcement period was assessed by probe trials during the schedule interval and during the reinforcement interval in separate conditions. The results provided evidence of timing of the onset, but not the offset of the wheel-running reinforcement period. Further research is required to assess if timing occurs during a wheel-running reinforcement period.
    Behavioural Processes 12/2006; 73(3):240-7. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    Terry W Belke, W David Pierce, Ian D Duncan
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    ABSTRACT: Choice between sucrose and wheel-running reinforcement was assessed in two experiments. In the first experiment, ten male Wistar rats were exposed to concurrent VI 30 s VI 30 s schedules of wheel-running and sucrose reinforcement. Sucrose concentration varied across concentrations of 2.5, 7.5, and 12.5%. As concentration increased, more behavior was allocated to sucrose and more reinforcements were obtained from that alternative. Allocation of behavior to wheel running decreased, but obtained wheel-running reinforcement did not change. Overall, the results suggested that food-deprived rats were sensitive to qualitative changes in food supply (sucrose concentration) while continuing to defend a level of physical activity (wheel running). In the second study, 15 female Long Evans rats were exposed to concurrent variable ratio schedules of sucrose and wheel-running, wheel-running and wheel-running, and sucrose and sucrose reinforcement. For each pair of reinforcers, substitutability was assessed by the effect of income-compensated price changes on consumption of the two reinforcers. Results showed that, as expected, sucrose substituted for sucrose and wheel running substituted for wheel running. Wheel running, however, did not substitute for sucrose; but sucrose partially substituted for wheel running. We address the implications of the interrelationships of sucrose and wheel running for an understanding of activity anorexia.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 10/2006; 86(2):131-58. · 1.07 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: How do animals choose between opportunities to run of different durations? Are longer durations preferred over shorter durations because they permit a greater number of revolutions? Are shorter durations preferred because they engender higher rates of running? Will longer durations be chosen because running is less constrained? The present study reports on three experiments that attempted to address these questions. In the first experiment, five male Wistar rats chose between 10-sec and 50-sec opportunities to run on modified concurrent variable-interval (VI) schedules. Across conditions, the durations associated with the alternatives were reversed. Response, time, and reinforcer proportions did not vary from indifference. In a second experiment, eight female Long-Evans rats chose between opportunities to run of equal (30 sec) and unequal durations (10 sec and 50 sec) on concurrent variable-ratio (VR) schedules. As in Experiment 1, between presentations of equal duration conditions, 10-sec and 50-sec durations were reversed. Results showed that response, time, and reinforcer proportions on an alternative did not vary with reinforcer duration. In a third experiment, using concurrent VR schedules, durations were systematically varied to decrease the shorter duration toward 0 sec. As the shorter duration decreased, response, time, and reinforcer proportions shifted toward the longer duration. In summary, differences in durations of opportunities to run did not affect choice behavior in a manner consistent with the assumption that a longer reinforcer is a larger reinforcer.
    Learning & Behavior 03/2006; 34(1):61-70. · 1.88 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: Six male albino Wistar rats were placed in running wheels and exposed to a fixed interval 30-s schedule that produced either a drop of 15% sucrose solution or the opportunity to run for 15s as reinforcing consequences for lever pressing. Each reinforcer type was signaled by a different stimulus. To assess the effect of pre-running, animals were allowed to run for 1h prior to a session of responding for sucrose and running. Results showed that, after pre-running, response rates in the later segments of the 30-s schedule decreased in the presence of a wheel-running stimulus and increased in the presence of a sucrose stimulus. Wheel-running rates were not affected. Analysis of mean post-reinforcement pauses (PRP) broken down by transitions between successive reinforcers revealed that pre-running lengthened pausing in the presence of the stimulus signaling wheel running and shortened pauses in the presence of the stimulus signaling sucrose. No effect was observed on local response rates. Changes in pausing in the presence of stimuli signaling the two reinforcers were consistent with a decrease in the reinforcing efficacy of wheel running and an increase in the reinforcing efficacy of sucrose. Pre-running decreased motivation to respond for running, but increased motivation to work for food.
    Behavioural Processes 02/2006; 71(1):1-7. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study assessed the effect of D-amphetamine on responding maintained by wheel-running and sucrose reinforcement. Six male albino Wistar rats were placed in running wheels and exposed to a fixed-interval 30-s schedule that produced either a drop of 5% sucrose solution or the opportunity to run for 15 s as reinforcing consequences for lever pressing. Each reinforcer type was signaled by a different stimulus. Doses of 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 3.0 mg/kg D-amphetamine were administered by i.p. injection 20 min prior to a session. As the dose increased, index of curvature values decreased toward zero and rate-dependency plots revealed increases in lower rates early in the interval and decreases in higher rates toward the end of the interval. Effects were similar in the presence of both stimuli. However, an analysis of post-reinforcement pauses and local response rates broken down by transitions revealed a differential effect. As the dose increased, local response rates following a wheel-running reinforcer were affected more than those following a sucrose reinforcer.
    Behavioural Pharmacology 08/2005; 16(4):219-25. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke, Ryan J McLaughlin
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    ABSTRACT: Habituation appears to play a role in the decline in wheel running within an interval. Aoyama and McSweeney [Aoyama, K., McSweeney, F.K., 2001. Habituation contributes to within-session changes in free wheel running. J. Exp. Anal. Behav. 76, 289-302] showed that when a novel stimulus was presented during a 30-min interval, wheel-running rates following the stimulus increased to levels approximating those earlier in the interval. The present study sought to assess the role of habituation in the decline in running that occurs over a briefer interval. In two experiments, rats responded on fixed-interval 30-s schedules for the opportunity to run for 45 s. Forty reinforcers were completed in each session. In the first experiment, the brake and chamber lights were repeatedly activated and inactivated after 25 s of a reinforcement interval had elapsed to assess the effect on running within the remaining 20 s. Presentations of the brake/light stimulus occurred during nine randomly determined reinforcement intervals in a session. In the second experiment, a 110 dB tone was emitted after 25 s of the reinforcement interval. In both experiments, presentation of the stimulus produced an immediate decline in running that dissipated over sessions. No increase in running following the stimulus was observed in the first experiment until the stimulus-induced decline dissipated. In the second experiment, increases in running were observed following the tone in the first session as well as when data were averaged over several sessions. In general, the results concur with the assertion that habituation plays a role in the decline in wheel running that occurs within both long and short intervals.
    Behavioural Processes 03/2005; 68(2):107-15. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke, Jason P Wagner
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    ABSTRACT: Wheel running reinforces the behavior that generates it and produces a preference for the context that follows it. The goal of the present study was to demonstrate both of these effects in the same animals. Twelve male Wistar rats were first exposed to a fixed-interval 30 s schedule of wheel-running reinforcement. The operant was lever-pressing and the reinforcer was the opportunity to run for 45 s. Following this phase, the method of place conditioning was used to test for a rewarding aftereffect following operant sessions. On alternating days, half the rats responded for wheel-running reinforcement while the other half remained in their home cage. Upon completion of the wheel-running reinforcement sessions, rats that ran and rats that remained in their home cages were placed into a chamber of a conditioned place preference (CPP) apparatus for 30 min. Each animal received six pairings of a distinctive context with wheel running and six pairings of a different context with their home cage. On the test day, animals were free to move between the chambers for 10 min. Results showed a conditioned place preference for the context associated with wheel running; however, time spent in the context associated with running was not related to wheel-running rate, lever-pressing rate, or post-reinforcement pause duration.
    Behavioural Processes 03/2005; 68(2):165-72. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke, W David Pierce, K Jensen
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    ABSTRACT: A biobehavioural analysis of activity anorexia suggests that the motivation for physical activity is regulated by food supply and body weight. In the present experiment, food allocation was varied within subjects by prefeeding food-deprived rats 0, 5, 10 and 15 g of food before sessions of lever pressing for wheel-running reinforcement. The experiment assessed the effects of prefeeding on rates of wheel running, lever pressing, and postreinforcement pausing. Results showed that prefeeding animals 5 g of food had no effect. Prefeeding 10 g of food reduced lever pressing for wheel running and rates of wheel running without a significant change in body weight; the effect was, however, transitory. Prefeeding 15 g of food increased the animals' body weights, resulting in a sustained decrease of wheel running and lever pressing, and an increase in postreinforcement pausing. Overall the results indicate that the motivation for physical activity is regulated by changes in local food supply, but is sustained only when there is a concomitant change in body weight.
    Behavioural Processes 08/2004; 67(1):1-10. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Terry W Belke
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    ABSTRACT: As body weight increases, the excitatory strength of a stimulus signaling an opportunity to run should weaken to a greater degree than that of a stimulus signaling an opportunity to eat. To test this hypothesis, six male albino Wistar rats were placed in running wheels and exposed to a fixed interval 30-s schedule that produced either a drop of 15% sucrose solution or the opportunity to run for 15s as reinforcing consequences for lever pressing. Each reinforcer type was signaled by a different stimulus. The effect of varying body weight on responding maintained by these two reinforcers was investigated by systematically increasing and decreasing post-session food amounts. The initial body weight was 335 g. Body weights were increased to approximately 445 g and subsequently returned to 335 g. As body weight increased, overall and local lever-pressing rates decreased while post-reinforcement pauses lengthened. Analysis of post-reinforcement pauses and local lever-pressing rates in terms of transitions between successive reinforcers revealed that local response rates in the presence of stimuli signaling upcoming wheel and sucrose reinforcers were similarly affected. However, pausing in the presence of the stimulus signaling a wheel-running reinforcer lengthened to a greater extent than did pausing in the presence of the stimulus signaling sucrose. This result suggests that as body weight approaches ad-lib levels, the likelihood of initiation of responding to obtain an opportunity to run approaches zero and the animal "rejects" the opportunity to run in a manner similar to the rejection of less preferred food items in studies of food selectivity.
    Behavioural Processes 03/2004; 65(2):189-99. · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    Terry W Belke, Stephanie D Hancock
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    ABSTRACT: Six male albino rats were placed in running wheels and exposed to a fixed-interval 30-s schedule of lever pressing that produced either a drop of sucrose solution or the opportunity to run for a fixed duration as reinforcers. Each reinforcer type was signaled by a different stimulus. In Experiment 1, the duration of running was held constant at 15 s while the concentration of sucrose solution was varied across values of 0, 2.5. 5, 10, and 15%. As concentration decreased, postreinforcement pause duration increased and local rates decreased in the presence of the stimulus signaling sucrose. Consequently, the difference between responding in the presence of stimuli signaling wheel-running and sucrose reinforcers diminished, and at 2.5%, response functions for the two reinforcers were similar. In Experiment 2, the concentration of sucrose solution was held constant at 15% while the duration of the opportunity to run was first varied across values of 15, 45, and 90 s then subsequently across values of 5, 10, and 15 s. As run duration increased, postreinforcement pause duration in the presence of the wheel-running stimulus increased and local rates increased then decreased. In summary, inhibitory aftereffects of previous reinforcers occurred when both sucrose concentration and run duration varied; changes in responding were attributable to changes in the excitatory value of the stimuli signaling the two reinforcers.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 04/2003; 79(2):243-65. · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    Terry W Belke
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 06/2002; 77(3):373-4. · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    T W Belke, J Belliveau
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    ABSTRACT: Six male Wistar rats were exposed to concurrent variable-interval schedules of wheel-running reinforcement. The reinforcer associated with each alternative was the opportunity to run for 15 s, and the duration of the changeover delay was 1 s. Results suggested that time allocation was more sensitive to relative reinforcement rate than was response allocation. For time allocation, the mean slopes and intercepts were 0.82 and 0.008, respectively. In contrast, for response allocation, mean slopes and intercepts were 0.60 and 0.03, respectively. Correction for low response rates and high rates of changing over, however, increased slopes for response allocation to about equal those for time allocation. The results of the present study suggest that the two-operant form of the matching law can be extended to wheel-running reinforcement. 'I'he effects of a low overall response rate, a short Changeover delay, and long postreinforcement pausing on the assessment of matching in the present study are discussed.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 06/2001; 75(3):299-310. · 1.07 Impact Factor
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    T W Belke, M J Dunbar
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    ABSTRACT: Rate-dependent drug effects have been observed for operant responding maintained by food, water, heat, light onset, electrical brain stimulation, shock-stimulus termination, and shock presentation. The present study sought to determine if the effects of cocaine on lever pressing maintained by the opportunity to run could also be described as rate dependent. Seven male Wistar rats were trained to respond on levers for the opportunity to run in a wheel. The schedule of reinforcement was fixed-interval 60 s, and the reinforcing consequence was the opportunity to run for 60 s. On this schedule, overall rates of responding were low, usually below six presses per minute, and pauses frequently exceeded the 60-s interval. Despite these differences, an overall scalloped pattern of lever pressing was evident for each rat. Doses of 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 mg/kg cocaine were administered 10 min prior to a session. Only at the 16 mg/kg dose did the responding of the majority of rats change in a manner suggestive of a rate-dependent drug effect. Specifically, lower response rates at the beginning of the intervals increased and higher rates at the end of the intervals decreased, as indicated by the fact that slopes from the regression of drug rates on control rates decreased. These data provide tentative support for the generalization of rate-dependent effects to operant responding maintained by wheel running. Differences in the baseline performance maintained by wheel running compared to those for food and water point to the need for further experimentation before this effect can be firmly established.
    Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 02/2001; 75(1):77-91. · 1.07 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

445 Citations
47.70 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2013
    • Mount Allison University
      • Department of Psychology
      Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada
  • 1994
    • Harvard University
      • Department of Psychology
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1990
    • San Diego State University
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 1989
    • University of Alberta
      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada