Discrimination of reinforcer magnitude: matching of relative response rate to relative reinforcement rate AcbC-lesioned rats exhibited better sensitivity to the difference between 1 and 4 food pellets than shams did. Subjects responded on two concurrent RI-60-s schedules, designated A and B, and the reinforcer magnitude for each schedule was varied. Data from the last session of each condition are plotted (sessions 11, 19, and 27; see Table 1); programmed reinforcement ratios were 0.2 (1 food pellet on schedule A and 4 pellets on schedule B), 0.5 (1:1 pellets), and 0.8 (4:1 pellets). The abscissa (horizontal axis) shows experienced reinforcement ratios (mean ± SEM); the ordinate (vertical axis) shows response allocation (mean ± SEM). Both groups exhibited substantial undermatching (deviation away from the predictions of the matching law and towards indifference). However, neither group was indifferent to the reinforcement ratio: the sham and AcbC groups both adjusted their response allocation towards the lever delivering the reinforcer with the greater magnitude (*** p < .001). Matching was better in AcbC-lesioned rats than in shams (lines of different gradient, # p = .021), suggesting that they were more sensitive to the difference between 1 and 4 food pellets.
Cardinal and Cheung BMC Neuroscience 2005 6:9 doi:10.1186/1471-2202-6-9