Interlocking schedules: the relationship between response and time requirements.

Research paper by D P DP Rider

Indexed on: 01 Jul '77Published on: 01 Jul '77Published in: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior


Rats were exposed to an interlocking fixed-ratio 150 fixed-interval 5-minute schedule of food reinforcement and then to yoked variable-ratio schedules in which individual ratios corresponded exactly to the ratios of responses to reinforcement obtained on the interlocking schedule. After additional training with the interlocking schedule, the rats were exposed to yoked variable-interval schedules in which intervals corresponded to the intervals between successive reinforcements obtained on the second interlocking schedule. Response rates were highest in the yoked VR condition and lowest in the yoked VI, while intermediate rates characterized the interlocking schedule. Break-run patterns of responding were generated by the interlocking schedule for all subjects, while both the yoked VR and VI schedules produced comparatively stable local rates of responding. These results indicate that responding is sensitive to the interlocking schedule's inverse relationship between reinforcement frequency and responses per reinforcement.