Indexed on: 01 Sep '80Published on: 01 Sep '80Published in: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Key pecking by three pigeons was maintained under a multiple fixed-interval fixed-ratio schedule of food presentation. The fixed-interval value remained at 3 minutes, while the fixed-ratio size was increased systematically in 30-response increments from 30 to either 120 (two pigeons) or 150 (one pigeon). At least two lower fixed-ratio values were also redetermined. The effects of ethanol (5 to 2.5 g/kg) were assessed at each of the different schedule parameters. Both overall and running response rates under the fixed-ratio schedule decreased with increases in the size of the fixed-ratio schedule; pause duration under the fixed-ratio schedule was directly related to increases in fixed-ratio size. Overall and running rates of responding under the fixed-interval schedule changed little with increases in the size of the fixed-ratio schedule. Despite the relative invariance of fixed-interval responding across the different fixed-ratio values, the effects of ethanol on responding under the fixed-interval schedule differed depending on the size of the fixed-ratio schedule. Greater increases occurred in both overall and in lower local rates of responding under the fixed-interval schedule when the fixed-ratio value was 120 or 150. The effects of ethanol on responding under the fixed-ratio schedule also depended on the size of the fixed ratio. Increases in responding under the fixed-ratio schedule were typically greater at the higher fixed-ratio values where response rates were lower. When the effects of ethanol were redetermined at the lower fixed-ratio parameter values, rates and patterns of responding were comparable to those obtained initially. However, the dose-effect curves for responding under both fixed-ratio and fixed-interval schedules were shifted up and to the right of those determined during the ascending series. The effects of ethanol can depend on rate or responding, behavioral history, and the context in which behavior occurs.