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Interamerican Journal of Psychology

Print version ISSN 0034-9690


SEGURA B., Alejandro  and  GUTIERREZ, Germán. Cooperative behavior in rats: effects of early experience. Interam. j. psychol. [online]. 2006, vol.40, n.2, pp.241-252. ISSN 0034-9690.

We studied the effects of early experience in the development of cooperative behaviors in an instrumental task in rats. In the first experimental phase, subjects were exposed to a choice between a cooperative and a non cooperative task. By cooperating subjects obtained 4 times more food than working individually. In a second phase, all experimental subjects earned one reinforcement for each type of response. In the third phase, all experimental subjects earned four reinforcement units for responding individually and one unit for responding cooperatively. Subjects with an early experience of food deprivation presented rates of higher cooperative response than subjects early exposed to food abundance. We conclude that early experience of food abundance or deprivation influence the later development of cooperative behavior.

Keywords : Animal social behavior; Choice; Cooperation; Rats.

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