Reinstatement in an Appetitively Motivated Paradigm
Whitehouse, Francis R., Jr.
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SubjectParadigm (Theory of knowledge); Reinforcement learning; Rats as laboratory animals--Training; Anxiety in children--Knowledge and learning; Fear in children--Knowledge and learning
The problem. To demonstrate reinstatement in an appetitively motivated paradigm within the limitations of Campbell and Jaynes' 1966 definition of that phenomenon, and to introduce a qualitatively distinct reinstatement treatment. Procedure. Eighty-five 21-28 day old rats were randomly assigned to one of either three experimental or three control conditions. Subjects in the three experimental conditions were pretrained and trained to a criterion performance on a light-dark discrimination task in a Y-maze. At 7, 14, and 21 days thereafter they received reinstatements consisting of either two reinforced trials in the Y-maze (group I) or one reinforced and one non-reinforced trial in a specially prepared straight alley (group II) which presented the critical stimulus elements of original training in an altered context. Group III subjects served as retention controls and did not receive the reinstatements. Subjects in groups IV, V, and VI received the same treatments as those in groups I, II, and III (respectively) with the exception that they were not initially pretrained or trained in the Y-maze. Twenty-eight days after the initial session subjects in groups I, II, and III were retrained to criterion in the Y-maze while subjects in groups IV, V, and VI were pretrained then trained to criterion in the maze. Findings. Simple main effects analyses within a splitplot factorial design established that the two reinstatement conditions produced significant retention of the discrimination with group I subjects showing slightly, although not significantly, better retention than group II subjects. Retention controls showed no retention of the discrimination. Analysis of groups IV, V, and VI showed no effect of the reinstatements per se on naive animals. Conclusions. It was concluded that reinstatement could be demonstrated in an appetitive paradigm, and that it may occur regardless of whether the organism can be returned to the original learning environment. Recommendations. Further study investigating stimulus parameters of reinstatement were suggested.
36 leaves. Advisor: James M. Whitehouse