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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


SILVA, Gisele Fernandez da. The hot air blast as an antecedent aversive stimulus. Acta comport. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.2, pp. 135-151. ISSN 0188-8145.

The Hot Air Blast (HAB) is an aversive stimulus that has been used as an alternative to the electric shock. However, little is known about the responses produced by its contact with the organism. The aim of the present study was to map these responses and its relationship with suppression observed during punishment. In Experiment 1 the HAB was presented in a non-contingent schedule (VT3min). In Experiment 2 the HAB was presented in a contingent schedule as punishment of the bar press response (FR1 of punishment + VI60s reinforcement) All sessions were video recorded. Responses were categorized, those that occurred during each presentation of HAB, so were those that occurred 30 seconds before and after the aversive stimulus presentation. The main responses observed in Experiment 1 were: crouching, flat-back, walking, sniffing and visual scan. In Experiment 2 the observed responses were: placing itself on the bar, sniffing the ceiling, contact with the body, rising, and visual scan. Most of the responses observed, mainly in Experiment 2 were related to staying away from the feeder and the bar region and may be interpreted as concurrent of the bar press operant response. It is offered a discussion on how the present results are compatible to the asymmetric explanation of punishment, like the one offered by Skinner.

Keywords : Hot Air Blast; Punishment; Aversive Stimulus; Symmetry and Asymmetry.

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