Effects of changeover contingencies on auditory stimulus control of two responses

Research paper by Marc N. Branch, Frederick W. Hegge

Indexed on: 01 Mar '74Published on: 01 Mar '74Published in: Animal learning & behavior


Rats were exposed to a procedure in which auditory stimuli signaled which of two levers was associated with a variable-interval 60-sec schedule of food presentation. Presses on the lever that was not associated with the variable-interval schedule (“errors”) postponed availability of reinforcement on the other lever by either a fixed number of responses or a fixed amount of time. Increasing the number of responses by which “errors” postponed food availability enhanced the level of stimulus control, and. alter a relatively high degree of control had been achieved, reduction of the requirement had no effect. Control experiments ruled out extended exposure to the discrimination procedure as a factor in the increase in stimulus control and suggested that the time of introduction of a changeover contingent is an important determinant of its effect.