Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Published by Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Online ISSN: 0022-5002
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Article
A series of six experiments examined delayed identity matching-to-sample performances of subjects with mental retardation. The stimuli were either one or two simultaneously displayed forms. When the reinforcement contingencies required that only one form exert discriminative control, all subjects achieved high accuracy scores. However, accuracy scores were substantially lower when the contingencies required discriminative control by two forms, suggesting restricted stimulus control. The decline in matching accuracy appeared to reflect selective losses of conditional control by sample stimuli and shifts in control to features of the comparison stimulus displays. The experiments suggest improved techniques for assessing control by complex stimuli and for evaluating the effects of procedures that seek to broaden restricted stimulus control. The results challenge interpretations based on stimulus-generalization decrement or shared attention.
 
Article
Rates and patterns of key-press responding maintained under schedules in which responding resulted in intravenous injections of cocaine were studied in squirrel monkeys and rhesus monkeys. Each injection was followed by a 60- or 100-sec timeout period. Schedule-controlled behavior was obtained at appropriate cocaine doses in each species. Under FR 10 or FR 30 schedules, performance was characterized by high rates of responding (usually more than one response per second) in each ratio. Under FI 5-min schedules, performance was characterized by an initial pause, followed by acceleration of responding to a final rate that was maintained until the end of the interval. Under multiple fixed-ratio fixed-interval schedules, rates and patterns of responding appropriate to each schedule component were maintained. Responding seldom occurred during timeout periods under any schedule studied. At doses of cocaine above or below those that maintained characteristic schedule-controlled behavior, rates of responding were relatively low and patterns of responding were irregular. Characteristic fixed-interval responding was maintained over a wider range of cocaine doses than characteristic fixed-ratio responding. Complex patterns of responding controlled by discriminative stimuli under fixed-ratio or fixed-interval schedules can be maintained by cocaine injections in squirrel monkeys and rhesus monkeys.
 
Article
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Article
The concept of imitation has undergone different analyses in the hands of different learning theorists throughout the history of psychology. From Thorndike's connectionism to Pavlov's classical conditioning, Hull's monistic theory, Mowrer's two-factor theory, and Skinner's operant theory, there have been several divergent accounts of the conditions that produce imitation and the conditions under which imitation itself may facilitate language acquisition. In tracing the roots of the concept of imitation in the history of learning theory, the authors conclude that generalized imitation, as defined and analyzed by operant learning theorists, is a sufficiently robust formulation of learned imitation to facilitate a behavior-analytic account of first-language acquisition.
 
Article
Rhesus monkeys were trained on a fixed-interval 9-min limited-hold 3-min schedule of intravenous cocaine reinforcement. A 15-min timeout followed each reinforcement or limited-hold expiration. An identical schedule of food reinforcement was interspersed in the session to assess rate-modifying effects of the drug infusions not specific to drug reinforcement. In one experiment, response rate for cocaine reinforcement was shown to be a positive function of reinforcement magnitude for a dose range from 0 to 800 ug/kg/inj. At these doses, there was little effect on food reinforced responding except at the highest dose, where responding decreased. Results of the second experiment indicated that increasing the duration of the cocaine infusion produced a change in response rate similar to decreasing unit dose. The response rate change for a given increase in infustion duration was less at a unit dose of 400 ug/kg than at 200 ug/kg.
 
Parameter values (a and b) and proportion of variance accounted for (R 2 ) by the best fitting functions between average number of completed ratios and step size [y b(x a )]. 
Article
Key pecking by pigeons was maintained by arithmetic progressive-ratio schedules of food delivery. Successive conditions arranged different step sizes, and each condition remained in effect until behavior appeared stable. Each session continued until a period of time passed in which no key pecks were recorded (the break-point criterion); both a 5-min and a 15-min criterion were tested across a range of step sizes. Average breaking points (i.e, the largest ratio completed) were relatively unaffected by step-size magnitude, whereas the average number of ratios completed and average response rates generally declined across increasing step sizes. Within sessions, preratio pauses were relatively short and fairly constant in duration as the ratio increased; pause durations increased rapidly near the end of a session. The relation between the average number of completed ratios and step size was described well by a power function [y = b(xa), in which y represents the average number of completed ratios, x represents the step size, and a and b are fitted parameters]. Increasing the break-point criterion from 5 to 15 min resulted in increased values of b, whereas parameter a was relatively unaffected and was close to -1 (consistent with the lack of effect of step size on breaking point). This function also provided an excellent description of data drawn from previous reports.
 
Description of subjects. 
Article
Six normally capable adults first learned three conditional relations in each of two prospective equivalence classes via match-to-sample training with figures as conditional (sample) and discriminative (comparison) stimuli. Then one trained conditional relation in each prospective class was brought under the control of contextual stimuli, two dictated nonsense syllables. Test performances indicated the emergence of untrained conditional relations, and therefore two equivalence classes, that were conditional on the contextual stimuli. These tests involved untrained combinations of contextual stimuli and stimuli in conditional relations, suggesting that the contextual stimuli functioned independently to control conditional relations rather than forming compound stimuli with samples and comparisons in training. Next, two novel figures were made equivalent to each of the original dictated contextual stimuli by match-to-sample training and testing. On subsequent tests, all subjects demonstrated transfer of conditional control of untrained conditional relations from the original auditory contextual stimuli to equivalent visual stimuli. These outcomes further supported the conclusion that the contextual stimuli exerted true conditional control over conditional relations in the equivalence classes and were not merely elements of compound stimuli.
 
Stimulus classes and the stimuli used in the experiment by Wetherby, Karlan, and Spradlin, 1983. 
Article
When a number of two-stimulus relations are established through training within a set of stimuli, other two-stimulus relations often emerge in the same set without direct training. These, termed "transitive stimulus relations," have been demonstrated with a variety of visual and auditory stimuli. The phenomenon has served as a behavioral model for explaining the emergence of rudimentary comprehension and reading skills, and the development of generative syntactic repertoires. This article considers the range of relations that can arise between a given number of stimuli in a class, the number of directly established two-stimulus relations necessary for the emergence of transitive relations, the forms that training sets of stimuli can take, and the number of transitive two-stimulus relations that can be induced without direct training. The procedures needed to establish and assess transitive stimulus control, the possible interactions between the training and testing procedures, and the constrainst these interactions place upon the analysis of transitive stimulus control are also examined. The present analysis indicates that in a transitivity test, choice among such stimuli may be controlled by (1) the relation between the sample and the positive comparison stimulus (transitive stimulus control), (2) the relation between the sample and the negative comparison stimulus (S- rule control), and (3) possible discriminative properties that may inadvertently be established in the positive and negative comparison stimuli (valence control). Methods are described for distinguishing these three forms of stimulus control.
 
Article
Three experiments assessed the likelihood that subjects with histories of equivalence class development would respond conditionally on new discriminations in the absence of differential consequences for responses. In the first two experiments, two groups of subjects with different experimental histories, but whose performances showed four equivalence classes, responded on trials without explicit reinforcement involving samples from two of the classes and comparisons from the other two classes, in a two-choice matching-to-sample format. Subjects consistently selected a particular comparison in the presence of a particular sample. Subsequent tests showed the emergence of equivalence relations between stimuli from classes linked by the unreinforced conditional selections. Subsequently, in Experiment II, the subjects' responses in the conditional selection trials were reinforced if the selection was reversed from that made previously. Although reversed selection was maintained, 2 of the 3 subjects continued to perform on equivalence relation trials according to their original unreinforced selections. In the third experiment, these 2 subjects responded on a series of conditional discriminations involving three new pairs of sample stimuli and one new pair of comparison stimuli. No explicit reinforcement followed responses on any trial in this experiment. Subsequent tests for equivalence between sample stimuli revealed the development of two equivalence classes.
 
Article
A discriminative stimulus is a stimulus condition which, (1) given the momentary effectiveness of some particular type of reinforcement (2) increases the frequency of a particular type of response (3) because that stimulus condition has been correlated with an increase in the frequency with which that type of response has been followed by that type of reinforcement. Operations such as deprivation have two different effects on behavior. One is to increase the effectiveness of some object or event as reinforcement, and the other is to evoke the behavior that has in the past been followed by that object or event. "Establishing operation" is suggested as a general term for operations having these two effects. A number of situations involve what is generally assumed to be a discriminative stimulus relation, but with the third defining characteristic of the discriminative stimulus absent. Here the stimulus change functions more like an establishing operation than a discriminative stimulus, and the new term, "establishing stimulus," is suggested. There are three other possible approaches to this terminological problem, but none are entirely satisfactory.
 
Article
A novel "in vitro reinforcement" paradigm was used to investigate Skinner's (1953) hypotheses (a) that operant behavior is made up of infinitesimal "response elements" or "behavioral atoms" and (b) that these very small units, and not whole responses, are the functional units of reinforcement. Our tests are based on the assumption that behavioral atoms may plausibly be represented at the neural level by individual cellular responses. As a first approach, we attempted to reinforce the bursting responses of hippocampal units in a highly reduced brain-slice preparation with local micropressure applications of behaviorally reinforcing dopaminergic drugs. The same injections were administered independently of bursting to provide a "noncontingent" control for nonspecific stimulation or facilitation of firing. It was found that the bursting responses of individual CA1 pyramidal neurons may be progressively facilitated in a dose-related manner by response-contingent (but not noncontingent) injections of dopamine itself, the dopamine D1-preferring agonist SKF 82958, the D3-preferring agonist quinpirole, and the D2-like selective agonist (+)-4-propyl-9 hydroxynapthoxazine. These findings support the conclusion that unit bursting responses can be reinforced in vitro in hippocampal slices, and they further suggest that the same dopamine receptor subtypes are involved in both cellular and behavioral operant conditioning. The results thus provide indirect support for Skinner's atoms-of-behavior hypothesis.
 
Article
This study examined the role of learning history on the acquisition of a matching-to-sample task. Twelve preschool children learned four stimulus classes through instructions, shaping, or imitation. After reaching criterion, the subjects were exposed to changed discrimination contingencies to determine how each learning history affected the acquisition of responses appropriate to the new contingencies. All subjects reached criterion on the new relations, although the subjects with a shaping history adapted slightly more quickly than those subjects with a history of instructions or imitation. Given sufficient exposure to changed contingencies, rule-driven insensitivity to contingencies was overcome by experience with consequences. This result may be specific to younger subjects, but it suggests that instructions can be used in education without creating insensitivity to contingencies.
 
Article
The present investigation developed and tested a new percentile reinforcement schedule suited to study pattern variability, whose main feature was the relative dissociation it provided between the variability requirement defining criterional responses and overall probability of reinforcement. In a discrete-trials procedure, pigeons produced patterns of four pecks on two response keys. If the pattern emitted on the current trial differed from the N preceding patterns, reinforcement was delivered with probability mu. The schedule continuously adjusted the criterion N such that the probability of a criterional response, estimated from the subject's recent behavior, was always constant. In these circumstances, the criterion corresponded to an invariant percentile in the distribution of recent responses. Using a between-subjects design, Experiment 1 manipulated the variability requirement--the percentile--while keeping overall reinforcement probability constant. The degree of variability varied directly with the requirement. In addition, an inverse relationship existed between the requirement and within-group variance. Experiment 2 manipulated probability of reinforcement while maintaining the variability requirement constant. No consistent relationship was found between variability and reinforcement probability. A tentative hypothesis was advanced ascribing the operant conditioning of behavioral variability to a process of probability-dependent selection.
 
Subject seated in a high chair with the response device (metal cylinder) in position. 
Article
The performances of two infants less than one year old were investigated on fixed-interval schedules. When the infants touched a cylinder either music or food was presented according to fixed-interval schedules ranging in value from 10 to 50 seconds. With respect to two principal criteria, namely, pattern of responding and sensitivity to the schedule parameter, the subjects' behavior closely resembled that of animals but differed markedly from that of older children and adults. Negatively accelerated responding in the course of the fixed interval in the early sessions gave way to a scalloped pattern, consisting of a pause after reinforcement followed by an accelerated response rate. This scalloped pattern was the final form of responding on all schedule values. Analysis of data after performance had stabilized showed that postreinforcement pause was a negatively accelerated increasing function, and running rate (calculated after excluding the postreinforcement pause) was a declining function, of schedule value. On each schedule, the durations of mean successive interresponse times declined in the course of the fixed interval and were directly related to schedule value. The results supported Lowe's (1979) suggestion that verbal behavior may be responsible for major differences in the schedule performance of older humans and animals.
 
Article
The study examined the effects of the availability of a non-cooperative response on cooperative responding when cooperation did not have to result in an equal distribution of work or reinforcers. Also, an attempt was made to determine if the cooperative responding was under the control of the cooperation procedure. Pairs of institutionalized retardates were tested in full view of each other. For each subject, reinforcers (money) were contingent upon responses on each of two panels: (1) a matching panel for working matching-to-sample problems, and (2) a sample panel for producing the sample stimulus. The matching panels of the two subjects were 6 m apart, but a subject's sample panel could be placed at different distances from his matching panel. For each subject, either his own or his partner's sample panel could be nearest his matching panel such that less walking was required to reach one sample panel than the other. Subjects could work either individually, by producing their own sample stimulus, or cooperatively, by producing the sample stimulus for their partner. Subjects selected whichever solution involved the least amount of walking. The importance of testing for control by the cooperation procedure was indicated by the findings that cooperative-like responses were not always under the control of the cooperation procedure.
 
Article
In Experiment 1 six hungry gerbils received six trials per day on a 17-arm radial maze. During each trial the subjects were allowed to choose freely among the arms, each of which contained a food pellet, until each arm had been visited once or until eight minutes had elapsed. An error was recorded when the subject entered a previously visited arm. The gerbils quickly learned not to re-enter previously visited arms and generally made errors on fewer than 15% of entries, performance comparable to that of the rat and superior to that of other species tested in the radial arm maze. The intertrial-interval duration did not affect accuracy of arm choices during acquisition but did influence asymptotic accuracy. Accuracy did not change systematically over the six trials. A high proportion of arm entries were to nearby arms. Errors occurred most often towards the end of a trial. Odor cues were not important. When the number of trials per day was reduced from six to one, accuracy deteriorated slightly. In Experiment 2 neither the transposition of extramaze cues nor the placement of the maze in a different room had large disruptive effects on accuracy. In Experiment 3 the addition of three explicit intramaze brightness cues aided accuracy, perhaps by permitting the subjects to decompose the large maze into three smaller mazes, although there was no direct evidence that this was the case. Implications of a number of these results for models of spatial maze performance were discussed.
 
Article
An operant conditioning situation for the blow fly (Protophormia terrae novae) is described. Individual flies are trained to enter and reenter a hole as the operant response. Only a few sessions of contingent reinforcement are required to increase response rates. When the response is no longer followed by food, the rate of entering the hole decreases. Control procedures revealed that rate of responding is not a simple overall result of feeding or of aging. The flies entered into the hole only if the response was required to obtain the food.
 
Article
The scientific and academic contributions of the late William N. Schoenfeld (1915–1996) are large and, together with his personal qualities as a researcher, thinker, and teacher, supply the themes for this memorial essay on his work and life.
 
Article
Six or more graduate students were active in and around the Pigeon Lab in the spring of 1955 and also in 1960, but when I arrived it the fall of 1955 there were none. Looking back in 2001 at that period I can appreciate the unique opportunity for research that I had, as well as the exceptional and productive groups of graduate students who had recently finished their study and research and those who would carry on the tradition of excellence.
 
Mean gradients obtained from four groups receiving discrimination training between 550 nm (S+) and one of four S-values, as labeled on each gradient. Generalization data from a control group trained only with 550 nm are also shown. (From Hanson, 1959). 
Article
This paper is a selective review of the methods, problems, and findings in the area of operant stimulus generalization over the 25 years since the publication of the original paper by Guttman and Kalish (1956) on discriminability and spectral generalization in the pigeon. The paper falls into five main sections, which encompass the main themes and problems stemming from the Guttman and Kalish work and its immediate successors. The first section addresses the relationship between stimulus generalization and stimulus control, as well as the variety of testing procedures and dependent variables used to measure generalization. The next section reviews the limited literature on the effects of early rearing on the generalization gradient. The relationship between discriminability among test stimuli and the slope of the spectral gradient is discussed in the third section, with emphasis upon recent reassessments of the pigeon's hue discriminability function. The fourth section reviews the topic of inhibitory stimulus control, one which developed with the discovery of the peak shift following intradimensional discrimination training. Problems of definition and measurement are discussed in conjunction with the gradient forms used to index inhibitory control. The last section is devoted to attentional effects and the two principal theories postulated to account for them. A survey of different attentional paradigms is provided and the possible role of constant irrelevant stimuli as a source of control is examined. A brief conclusion summarizes the contribution of the generalization technique toward an understanding of the nature and acquisition of stimulus control.
 
Article
During the years 1958-1962, the final years of support by the National Science Foundation for B. F. Skinner's Pigeon Lab in Memorial Hall at Harvard University, 20 or so pigeon experiments (plus some with other organisms) ran concurrently 7 days a week. The research style emphasized experimental analyses, exploratory procedures, and the parametric exploration of variables. This reminiscence describes some features of the laboratory, the context within which it operated, and the activities of some of those who participated in it.
 
Article
A computational processing behavior-dynamic model was instantiated in the form of a computer program that "behaved" on the task developed by Nevin (1969). In this classic discrete-trials experiment, the relative frequency of choosing a response alternative matched the relative frequency of reinforcement for that alternative, the local structure of responding was opposite that predicted by momentary maximizing (i.e., the probability of a changeover decreased with run length), and absolute and relative response rates varied independently. The behavior-dynamic model developed here qualitatively reproduced these three results (but not in quantitative and specific detail) and also generated some interesting, as-yet-untested predictions about performance in Nevin's task. The model was discussed as an example of a stochastic behavior-dynamic alternative to algebraic behavior theory.
 
Article
Six male Wistar rats were exposed to different orders of reinforcement schedules to investigate if estimates from Herrnstein's (1970) single-operant matching law equation would vary systematically with schedule order. Reinforcement schedules were arranged in orders of increasing and decreasing reinforcement rate. Subsequently, all rats were exposed to a single reinforcement schedule within a session to determine within-session changes in responding. For each condition, the operant was lever pressing and the reinforcing consequence was the opportunity to run for 15 s. Estimates of k and R(O) were higher when reinforcement schedules were arranged in order of increasing reinforcement rate. Within a session on a single reinforcement schedule, response rates increased between the beginning and the end of a session. A positive correlation between the difference in parameters between schedule orders and the difference in response rates within a session suggests that the within-session change in response rates may be related to the difference in the asymptotes. These results call into question the validity of parameter estimates from Herrnstein's (1970) equation when reinforcer efficacy changes within a session.
 
Article
As Mogenson and Cioé (1977) have assumed that our electrodes aimed at the ectostriatum (Hollard and Davison, 1971) were actually located there, we feel that a presentation of the histological data is necessary. Following termination of further experiments (Hollard, 1974) the pigeons, numbered 93, 95, and 119, were sacrificed and perfused with saline followed by 10% formalin. Sections, 50 microns thick, were cut on a freezing microtome. Prints were made by mounting each unstained section of a microscope slide and placing them in a standard photographic enlarger. The electrode tips of Pigeons 93 and 119 were located in the paleostriatal complex. The sections of Pigeon 95 were damaged and precise localization was not possible. Further work in this laboratory has also found that, using the same coordinates, electrode tips tend to fall in the paleostriatum, rather than in the more dorsal ectostriatum at which they are aimed. The paleostriatal placements tended to sustain self-stimulation, whereas others located in the ectostriatum sustained relatively low or unstable rates.
 
Article
The tendency for relative response rate to approach matching as multiple schedule component duration decreases has been interpreted as confirming a prediction of Herrnstein's multiple schedule equation. However, the equation predicts that absolute response rate will decrease in both multiple schedule components as component duration decreases. The absolute response-rate data of two studies of component duration do not support this prediction; absolute rate either increased or remained relatively constant.
 
Article
Data from recent studies employing concurrent variable-interval schedules are reviewed. Subject species employed in different experiments have included rats, pigeons, and humans, and reinforcers have varied from food and shock avoidance to points exchangeable for money. Undermatching (a greater preference for the schedule of the concurrent pair that delivers the lower rate of reinforcement than the Matching Law predicts) has been preponderant in recent studies, irrespective of whether behavior has been measured in terms of response ratios or time allocation, with the possible exception of data produced by human subjects. Little difference in the degree of undermatching exhibited by response and time measures has been found, except in the results from a single laboratory, in which time-allocation measures have tended to undermatch less than response measures. Procedural features, such as type of manipulandum used and changeover delay, seem to have little effect on the degree of undermatching exhibited, but asymmetrical response manipulanda (such as lever and key) for the different concurrent schedules, or other asymmetries in the experimental situation, show up clearly in bias measures, in a manner consistent with previous analyses.
 
Article
Pigeons keypecked on a two-key procedure in which their choice ratios during one time period determined the reinforcement rates assigned to each key during the next period (Vaughan, 1981). During each of four phases, which differed in the reinforcement rates they provided for different choice ratios, the duration of these periods was four minutes, duplicating one condition from Vaughan's study. During the other four phases, these periods lasted six seconds. When these periods were long, the results were similar to Vaughan's and appeared compatible with melioration theory. But when these periods were short, the data were consistent with molecular maximizing (see Silberberg & Ziriax, 1982) and were incompatible with melioration, molar maximizing, and matching. In a simulation, stat birds following a molecular-maximizing algorithm responded on the short- and long-period conditions of this experiment. When the time periods lasted four minutes, the results were similar to Vaughan's and to the results of the four-minute conditions of this study; when the time periods lasted six seconds, the choice data were similar to the data from real subjects for the six-second conditions. Thus, a molecular-maximizing response rule generated choice data comparable to those from the short- and long-period conditions of this experiment. These data show that, among extant accounts, choice on the Vaughan procedure is most compatible with molecular maximizing.
 
Article
Shimp (1983) found in five pigeons "double dissociation" between the distribution of pairs of long and short reinforced interresponse times and "self-reports," obtained by symbolic matching to sample, concerning these interresponse times. This result can be explained by assuming that the birds used a fixed temporal interval as matching criterion, independently of which pattern of interresponse times was reinforced.
 
Article
McLean (1992) presented significant data showing that the occurrence of behavioral contrast in a multiple schedule was correlated with shifts in the frequency of reinforcers from a second source between components of the schedule, and interpreted his results as showing that contrast was due to changes in the degree of response competition within the constant component of the multiple schedule. Reanalysis of his data shows that there was an effect of reinforcement in the alternative component of the schedule independent of the shifts in reinforcers between components. Thus, the effect of relative rate of reinforcement cannot be ascribed, at least entirely, to the mechanisms proposed by the behavioral competition theory of contrast.
 
Article
Boysen and Berntson (1995) showed that apes could not learn to point to a small amount of candy in order to get a larger amount when pointing to the larger amount was reinforced by receipt of the alternate, smaller amount. They explained this result as an unlearned predisposition to reach for higher value foods that overrides the effects of reinforcement. This report tests their thesis. In the first condition, 3 monkeys chose between one raisin held in one hand by the experimenter and four raisins held in the other hand. If a monkey pointed at four raisins, it received one. If it pointed at one, it received four. Over ten 20-trial sessions, no monkey learned to point at the one-raisin alternative, a result similar to that of Boysen and Berntson. In the second condition, pointing at one raisin still produced four; however, pointing at four raisins now produced no reinforcement. In five 20-trial sessions, all monkeys learned to point at one raisin in order to get four. This finding demonstrates that at least in monkeys there is no predisposition to reach for higher value foods that cannot be readily overridden by reinforcement contingencies, and casts doubt on Boysen and Berntson's claim to have demonstrated such a process in apes.
 
Article
Selections from a large longitudinal data set of verbal interactions between a mother and her child are presented. Two sets of three-term contingency sequences that seemed to reflect maternal rewards and corrections were noted. Both the antecedents as well as the immediate consequences of maternal interventions are presented to explore training and learning processes. The observed frequencies of three-step sequences are compared to those expected based upon Markov-chain logic to substantiate the patterning of the interactions. Behavioral conceptualizations of the learning process are supported by these analyses, although their sufficiency is questioned. It is suggested that maternal rewards and corrections should be integrated with perceptual, cognitive, and social learning conceptualizations in a skill-learning approach to explain the complexity of language transmission and acquisition processes.
 
Article
States that attention must be focused on the predictably rapid development of psychophysiology leading to new studies of: (1) internal scanning, with increasing resultant voluntary control of the inner world; (2) the expansion of parapsychology; and (3) a rapidly developing rapprochement between psychology, and the biological and the social sciences.
 
Article
Sidman's (2000) theory regarding the origin of equivalence relations predicts that a reinforcing stimulus common to distinct equivalence classes must drop out of the equivalence relations. This prediction was tested in the present study by arranging class-specific reinforcers, R1 and R2, following correct responding on the prerequisite conditional discriminations (Ax-Bx, Cx-Bx) for two stimulus classes, A1B1C1 and A2B2C2. A class-common reinforcer, R3, was presented following correct responding on the prerequisite conditional discriminations for a further two stimulus classes, A3B3C3 and A4B4C4. Sidman's theory predicts reinforcer inclusion within Classes 1 and 2 only, given this training arrangement. Experiment 1 tested for the emergence of four equivalence classes and of stimulus-reinforcer and reinforcer-stimulus relations in each class. Four of the 6 subjects demonstrated the reinforcer-based relations in all four equivalence classes, rather than in only those classes with a class-specific reinforcer, as Sidman's theory predicts. One of the remaining 2 subjects showed the reinforcer-based relations in three of the four classes. Experiment 2 extended these findings to document the emergence of interclass matching relations based on the common reinforcer R3, in 5 of 6 subjects, such that a Class 3 sample occasioned the selection of a Class 4 sample when the Class 3 comparison was absent, and similarly, a Class 4 sample occasioned the selection of a Class 3 comparison when the Class 4 comparison was absent. These interclass relations emerged despite the simultaneous maintenance of Class 3 and 4 baseline conditional discriminations, so that the Class 3 and 4 stimuli and reinforcer simultaneously were, and were not, part of a single larger equivalence class. These data are irreconcilable with Sidman's theory, and question the utility of the application of the equivalence relation in describing derived stimulus relations.
 
Article
From the beginning of this century, following the publication of his dissertation, Thorndike made many significant contributions to psychology, some related to animal and human learning and others to various areas of educational psychology. This paper concentrates on the former and mentions some of the latter, in the context of personal and professional aspects of his life.
 
Article
We have adapted a nonhuman primate model of cocaine versus food choice to the rat species. To evaluate the procedure, we tested cocaine versus food choice under a variety of environmental manipulations as well as pharmacological pretreatments. Complete cocaine-choice dose-effect curves (0-1.0 mg/kg/infusion) were obtained for each condition under concurrent fixed ratio schedules of reinforcement. Percentage of responding emitted on the cocaine-reinforced lever was not affected significantly by removal of cocaine-associated visual or auditory cues, but it was decreased after removal of response-contingent or response-independent cocaine infusions. Cocaine choice was sensitive to the magnitude and fixed ratio requirement of both the cocaine and food reinforcers. We also tested the effects of acute (0.32, 0.56, 1.0, 1.8 mg/kg) and chronic (0.1, 0.32 mg/kg/hr) d-amphetamine treatment on cocaine choice. Acute and chronic d-amphetamine had opposite effects, with acute increasing and chronic decreasing cocaine choice, similar to observations in humans and in nonhuman primates. The results suggest feasibility and utility of the choice procedure in rats and support its comparability to similar procedures used in humans and monkeys.
 
Article
A review of the relationship between schedule of reinforcement, response rate, and choice suggests that certain unifying concepts from economics can contribute to a more complete science of behavior. Four points are made: 1) a behavioral experiment is an economic system and its characteristics-open or closed-can strongly determine the results; 2) reinforcers can be distinguished by a functional property called elasticity; 3) reinforcers may interact as complements as well as substitutes; 4) no simple choice rule, such as strict matching, can account for all choice behavior.
 
Top-cited authors
William M Baum
  • University of California, Davis
Howard Rachlin
  • Stony Brook University
Michael Davison
  • University of Auckland
Leonard Green
  • Washington University in St. Louis
A. Charles Catania
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County