operant_conditioning_long_version

# Now training begins reconnect the tube for the first

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Now training begins. Reconnect the tube. For the first two pellets, press the hand button when the rat is away from the food cup, and is approaching the cup, and is within 1” of the cup with her head facing the cup. You may notice the rat “jump” towards the cup when the click occurs - like a startle reaction. If this occurs, it’s OK. For the next two pellets, wait until the rat has his nose in the cup and then is turning away and moving away from the cup. Deliver a pellet when she is moving away from the cup but within one inch or so of the cup. Now deliver food pellets randomly, about one every 30 seconds. If you notice the rat is beginning to do the same response over and over (except going to the cup when the click occurs) then stop giving the rat a pellet following that response. Never give a pellet if the head/nose of the rat is in the food cup, or when the rat is grooming. When the rat is reliably going to the food cup when the click occurs, time and record the next 5 latencies. Then press the button below the lights so only the green light is on. Now continue training as described in lever-press shaping. Results You want to determine whether the click became a discriminative stimulus, influencing the rat to go to the food cup. Calculate the mean latency for the first three recorded latencies, and the last five latencies. Long latencies indicate little influence by the click, short latencies indicate strong influence by the click. First three latencies: Last five latencies: 1. ________ 1. ________ 2. ________ 2. ________ 3. ________ 3. ________ 4. ________ 5. ________ SUM __________ __________ Mean= Sum/3= _________ /3= _________ = _________ /5= _________ Discussion Discriminative stimuli signal that reinforcers are available. Did you establish the click as a discriminative stimulus for going to the food cup. Compare the mean of the first three latencies with the mean of the last five latencies. Which is larger? What does that mean? Discriminative stimuli are very common in complex human behavior. Describe five discriminative stimuli- response relations in your life, include the discriminative stimulus, the response it influences, and the consequence (usually a reinforcer). Lever press shaping Procedure: Rat that goes to food cup when click occurs : This rat’s behavior is already influenced by the click, demonstrating that the click is a discriminative stimulus. Next you want the rat to

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acquire a new response, pressing the lever. To do this you will use a procedure called shaping by the method of successive approximations. This means you will reinforce responses that remotely resemble lever pressing. As this response increases in frequency, the criterion for reinforcement changes slightly to a response more closely resembling lever pressing. You continue to change the criterion for reinforcement as the rat learns to emit each response. In a short period of time the rat will begin pressing the lever. Before you begin shaping be sure the green light is on. Then observe the rat for 5 minutes, counting the number of lever presses. Later you will count the number of lever presses after the shaping procedure to see if the number of lever presses increased. Then you begin shaping. Specifically, reinforce (give the rat a food pellet by pressing the hand button) a response the rat can emit but does so only occasionally, such as facing the lever. When the rat is
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• Spring '13
• SuzanneYeager
• lever, Reinforcers, hand button

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