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Maintenance of responding by squirrel monkeys under a concurrent shock-postponement, fixed-interval shock-presentation schedule.

By J E Barrett and J A Stanley


A chain-pulling response was initially developed under a shock-postponement (avoidance) schedule with two squirrel monkeys. Few responses occurred on a lever where responding initially had no scheduled consequence or, subsequently, when a 3-minute fixed-interval shock-presentation schedule was concurrently arranged for lever responses. Appropriate rates and patterns of lever responding developed and were later maintained under the fixed-interval 3-minute shock-presentation schedule alone when the chain and shock-postponement schedule were removed. When both the shock-postponement and shock-presentation schedules were again simultaneously in effect, steady rates of chain pulling were maintained by the shock-postponement schedule and positively accelerated rates and patterns were maintained on the lever by the shock-presentation schedule. Response rates under both schedules were directly related to shock intensity. A history of exposure to a shock-postponement schedule, even though with a topographically different response and manipulandum, was sufficient for the development and eventual maintenance of responding by the presentation of shock. Further, differential performances can be maintained simultaneously by the presentation and postponement of electric shock

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