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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


SOSA, Rodrigo  and  VALERIO, Cristiano. Can stimuli related to the absence of reward reduce impulsivity in rats?. Acta comport. [online]. 2014, vol.22, n.2, pp. 153-167. ISSN 0188-8145.

The present work explored the possibility that a stimulus paired with the absence of a primary reward acquire an aversive function in a choice situation. Rats were exposed to a choice condition between two alternatives: (1) water delivery after a delay interval elapsed, and (2) presentation of a white noise followed by a time out. Thereby, the white noise was a negative predictor of water delivery. Aversivity acquired by the white noise was evaluated by looking at subject's preference for a SS alternative (i.e., immediate delivery of a small amount of water) in which the white noise was added. In Experiment 1 it was implemented a mixed design; namely, performances before and after experimental treatment were compared, and also it were compared performance of experimental subjects and that of subjects in control groups. Subjects of the Experimental Group showed a lower preference for SS alternative compared to their own performance prior to the Training Phase and compared to control subjects, but such differences did not achieve statistical significance. In Experiment 2 it was increased the sample size and implemented a between groups design. Once again, Subjects of the Experimental Group showed a smaller preference for SS alternative compared with control subjects. However, such differences could be interpreted by an explanation distinct to the one that propose that the white noise acquired aversive properties.

Keywords : impulsivity; self-control; aversiveness; negative relation; secondary reward; conditioned reinforcement.

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