Revista mexicana de análisis de la conducta
Print version ISSN 0185-4534
ESCOBAR, Rogelio and BRUNER, Carlos A.. Effects of the Contiguity Between the Extinction and the Reinforcement Components in Observing-response Procedures. Rev. mex. anál. conducta [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.2, pp. 333-347. ISSN 0185-4534.
The role of the stimulus correlated with extinction (S-) in observing-response procedures has been ambiguous. Although the S- is associated with extinction, some studies demonstrated that it effectively sustained observing behavior. To explore the conditions responsible for the S- to function as a conditioned reinforcer, the present experiment showed whether observing responses during an extinction component are controlled by the temporal contiguity between S- presentation and the reinforcement component. Presses on one lever were reinforced on a mixed schedule of reinforcement random-interval extinction. Pressing a second lever resulted in 5-s stimuli correlated with the components of the mixed schedule. For one group of three rats after observing responses were established, a no-consequence interval (NCI) was added between the end of the extinction component and the beginning of the reinforcement component. For other three rats the NCI was added between the end of the reinforcement component and the beginning of the extinction component. Observing responses during the extinction component decreased only when the NCI was added at the end of the extinction component. It was concluded that although the S- is nominally correlated with extinction it may function as a conditioned reinforcer because it is intermittently paired with the reinforcement component.
Keywords : Observing responses; conditioned reinforcement; lever pressing; stimuli pairing; rats.