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Article Summary

Title : Stabilization of operant responses during a program of variable interval reinforcement as a preliminary investigation of sensory thresholds using conditioned suppression in the cat
Authors : Yves Frégnac, E Gary-Bobo and Michel Imbert
Year : 1977
Journal : C R Acad Sci Hebd Seances Acad Sci D
Volume : 285
Pages : 547-50


Cats were trained to press a key during a variable interval schedule of reinforcement with a limited hold contingency. The main modifications of the response rate were observed when the subject missed one reinforcement or obtained more than one reinforcement during the limited hold. The existence of a zone of lesser variability in the mean response rate is shown to be linked to the occurrence of the last reinforcement. This result suggests an original methodological contingency concerning the use of conditioned suppression in psychophysics. The schedule of sensory stimulation should be established for each subject during that period of lesser variability between two reinforcements.