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: 3.03). 01/2009; 194(2):187-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.07.009
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Carmen Torres
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    • "Extensive research demonstrates that RLA-I rats exhibit higher levels of anxiety than RHA-I rats in a wide range of situations (see Driscoll, Fernández-Teruel, Corda, Giorgi, & Steimer, 2009; Steimer & Driscoll, 2005; Torres & Sabariego, 2014), including iSNC and cSNC tasks (Gómez, de la Torre et al., 2009; Gómez, Escarabajal et al., 2009; Rosas et al., 2007; Torres et al., 2005). Moreover, exposure to partial reinforcement during preshift sessions reduces iSNC (Cuenya et al., 2012) and increases resistance to extinction (Gómez et al., 2008) in RLA-I rats, but not in RHA-I rats. Because emotional counterconditioning is assumed to increase with the strength of frustration, and given that RLA-I rats show greater vulnerability to reward devaluation than RHA-I rats, we predicted that RLA-I rats exposed to reward devaluation in one situation would show a greater degree of transfer to a different reward devaluation task than RHA-I rats (i.e., cSNC-to-iSNC or iSNC-to-cSNC). "
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    ABSTRACT: Emotional counterconditioning resulting from pairings between a state of frustration and food reward explains transfer across situations involving reward omission. This experiment explored the hypothesis that a similar emotional counterconditioning mechanism is also involved in recovery from reward devaluation. Inbred Roman high-and low-avoidance rat strains (RHA-I and RLA-I) were trained in consummatory and instrumental successive negative contrast tasks (cSNC and iSNC) in counterbalanced order. RLA-I rats have consistently shown high levels of anxiety in a variety of situations, relative to RHA-I rats. Therefore, a stronger evidence of transfer was expected in RLA-I rats than in RHA-I rats. Whereas both strains showed the effects in the original training phase, only RLA-I rats benefitted from prior exposure to one reward devaluation task. The transfer was positive and symmetrical (i.e., exposure to one SNC task attenuated the second effect). RHA-I rats produced no evidence of transfer. The results suggest that emotional counterconditioning is involved in recovery from reward devaluation tasks. Despite extensive psychogenetic selection for low-avoidance/high-anxiety behavior, RLA-I rats showed the ability to develop resilience as a function of prior experience.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Learning and Motivation
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    • "There is behavioral, pharmacological, hormonal, neurobiological, and genetic evidence that these situations induce anxiety [17–19,48]. The Manzo studies involved inbred high-and low-avoidance Roman rat strains (RHA-I, RLA-I), selected for their differential ability to acquire a two-way active avoidance response; RLA-I rats are also more vulnerable than RHA-I rats to anxiogenic situations [48] [49], including situations involving reward loss [50] [51] [52] [53] [54] [55] [56]. The main result was the selective enhancement of ethanol preference immediately after extinction sessions in the induction task. "
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    ABSTRACT: Rats increased preference for ethanol after sessions of appetitive extinction, but not after acquisition (reinforced) sessions (Manzo et al., Physiol Behav 2014;123:86-92). Drinking was not influenced by appetitive extinction in control groups with postsession access to water, rather than ethanol. Because ethanol has anxiolytic properties in tasks involving reward loss, these results were interpreted as anti-anxiety self-medication. The present experiment tested the potential for self-medication with the prescription anxiolytic chlordiazepoxide, a benzodiazepine with an addictive profile used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. To test this hypothesis, Wistar rats exposed to a 32-to-4% sucrose devaluation received a two-bottle, 2-h preference test immediately after consummatory training. One bottle contained 1mg/kg of chlordiazepoxide, 2% ethanol, or water for different groups (the second bottle contained water for all groups). Three additional groups received the same postsession preference tests, but were exposed to 4% sucrose during consummatory training. Rats showed suppression of consummatory behavior after reward devaluation relative to unshifted controls. This effect was accompanied by a selective increase in preference for chlordiazepoxide and ethanol. Downshifted animals with access to water or unshifted controls with access to the anxiolytics failed to exhibit postsession changes in preference. Similar results were observed in terms of absolute consumption and consumption relative to body weight. This study shows for the first time that a prescription anxiolytic supports enhanced voluntary consumption during periods of emotional distress triggered by reward loss. Such anti-anxiety self-medication provides insights into the early stages of addictive behavior.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Behavioural Brain Research
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    • "As reviewed above, this paradoxical learning effect constitutes an experimental example of response-outcome uncertainty during acquisition that results in an increased, rather than in a decreased, behavioral persistence during extinction (Pellegrini et al., 2004). Given that training with partial reinforcement abolished strain differences in extinction rate obtained after continuous reinforcement (Gómez et al., 2008), we expected to identify genetic correlates that could underlie the impact of this experience on the behavior of Roman rats. To this aim, animals were continuously or partially reinforced with a 12 pellets presented in the goal box of a straight alley, and then exposed to an extinction phase in which this reward was omitted. "

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Journal of Comparative Psychology
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