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The interaction between stimulus and reinforcer control on remembering.

By D C McCarthy and M Davison


In a symbolic matching-to-sample task, 6 pigeons obtained food by pecking a red side key when the brighter of two white lights had been presented on the center key and by pecking a green side key when the dimmer of two white lights had been presented on the center key. Across Part 1 and Parts 6 to 10, the delay between sample-stimulus presentation and the availability of the choice keys was varied between 0 s and 25 s. Across Parts 1 to 5, the delay between the emission of a correct choice and the delivery of a reinforcer was varied between 0 s and 30 s. Although increasing both types of delay decreased stimulus discriminability, lengthening the stimulus-choice delay produced a greater decrement in choice accuracy than did lengthening the choice-reinforcer delay. Additionally, the relative reinforcer rate for correct choice was varied across both types of delay. The sensitivity of behavior to the distribution of reinforcers decreased as discriminability decreased under both procedures. These data are consistent with the view, based on the generalized matching law, that sample stimuli and reinforcers interact in their control over remembering

Topics: Research Article
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1323082
Provided by: PubMed Central
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