(operant conditioning) articles in PubMed
- Generalizing prosodic patterns by a non-vocal learning mammal. [Journal Article]
- Anim Cogn 2016 Sep 22AC
- Prosody, a salient aspect of speech that includes rhythm and intonation, has been shown to help infants acquire some aspects of syntax. Recent studies have shown that birds of two vocal learning spec...
Prosody, a salient aspect of speech that includes rhythm and intonation, has been shown to help infants acquire some aspects of syntax. Recent studies have shown that birds of two vocal learning species are able to categorize human speech stimuli based on prosody. In the current study, we found that the non-vocal learning rat could also discriminate human speech stimuli based on prosody. Not only that, but rats were able to generalize to novel stimuli they had not been trained with, which suggests that they had not simply memorized the properties of individual stimuli, but learned a prosodic rule. When tested with stimuli with either one or three out of the four prosodic cues removed, the rats did poorly, suggesting that all cues were necessary for the rats to solve the task. This result is in contrast to results with humans and budgerigars, both of which had previously been studied using the same paradigm. Humans and budgerigars both learned the task and generalized to novel items, but were also able to solve the task with some of the cues removed. In conclusion, rats appear to have some of the perceptual abilities necessary to generalize prosodic patterns, in a similar though not identical way to the vocal learning species that have been studied.
- Extending the duration of long-term memories: interactions between environmental darkness and retinoid signaling. [Journal Article]
- Neurobiol Learn Mem 2016 Sep 16NL
- Retinoid signaling plays an important role in hippocampal-dependent vertebrate memories. However, we have previously demonstrated that retinoids are also involved in the formation of long-term implic...
Retinoid signaling plays an important role in hippocampal-dependent vertebrate memories. However, we have previously demonstrated that retinoids are also involved in the formation of long-term implicit memory following operant conditioning of the invertebrate mollusc Lymnaea stagnalis. Furthermore, we have discovered an interaction between environmental light/dark conditions and retinoid signaling and the ability of both to convert intermediate-term memory into long-term memory. In this study, we extend these findings to show that retinoid receptor agonists and environmental darkness can both also extend the duration of long-term memory. Interestingly, exposure to constant environmental darkness significantly increased the expression of retinoid receptors in the adult central nervous system, as well as induced specific changes in a key neuron mediating the conditioned behaviour. These studies not only shed more light on how retinoids influence memory formation, but also further link environmental light conditions to the retinoid signaling pathway.
- Sleep restriction in rats leads to changes in operant behaviour indicative of reduced prefrontal cortex function. [Journal Article]
- J Sleep Res 2016 Sep 16JS
- Sleep deprivation has profound effects on cognitive performance, and some of these effects may be mediated by impaired prefrontal cortex function. In search of an animal model to investigate this rel...
Sleep deprivation has profound effects on cognitive performance, and some of these effects may be mediated by impaired prefrontal cortex function. In search of an animal model to investigate this relationship we studied the influence of restricted sleep on operant conditioning in rats, particularly the performance in a differential reinforcement of low rate responding (DRL) task, which is highly dependent upon an intact prefrontal cortex. Animals were trained to withhold a lever press until an imposed delay of 30 s after the last press had passed in order to achieve a food reward. Once the animals had mastered the task, they were sleep-restricted for 7 days with 20 h of sleep deprivation per day. At the end of each daily sleep deprivation session, performance on the DRL task was assessed. The results show that sleep-restricted animals were less able to time their responses correctly, started pressing the lever more randomly and showed signs of behavioural disinhibition, the latter possibly reflecting enhanced impulsivity. Our data support the hypothesis that a sleep debt has disruptive consequences for the functioning of the prefrontal cortex. This model offers possibilities for future studies investigating the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms of this relationship.
- Operant Conditioning in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.): The Cap Pushing Response. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2016; 11(9):e0162347Plos
- The honey bee has been an important model organism for studying learning and memory. More recently, the honey bee has become a valuable model to understand perception and cognition. However, the tech...
The honey bee has been an important model organism for studying learning and memory. More recently, the honey bee has become a valuable model to understand perception and cognition. However, the techniques used to explore psychological phenomena in honey bees have been limited to only a few primary methodologies such as the proboscis extension reflex, sting extension reflex, and free flying target discrimination-tasks. Methods to explore operant conditioning in bees and other invertebrates are not as varied as with vertebrates. This may be due to the availability of a suitable response requirement. In this manuscript we offer a new method to explore operant conditioning in honey bees: the cap pushing response (CPR). We used the CPR to test for difference in learning curves between novel auto-shaping and more traditional explicit-shaping. The CPR protocol requires bees to exhibit a novel behavior by pushing a cap to uncover a food source. Using the CPR protocol we tested the effects of both explicit-shaping and auto-shaping techniques on operant conditioning. The goodness of fit and lack of fit of these data to the Rescorla-Wagner learning-curve model, widely used in classical conditioning studies, was tested. The model fit well to both control and explicit-shaping results, but only for a limited number of trials. Learning ceased rather than continuing to asymptotically approach the physiological most accurate possible. Rate of learning differed between shaped and control bee treatments. Learning rate was about 3 times faster for shaped bees, but for all measures of proficiency control and shaped bees reached the same level. Auto-shaped bees showed one-trial learning rather than the asymptotic approach to a maximal efficiency. However, in terms of return-time, the auto-shaped bees' learning did not carry over to the covered-well test treatments.
- The Other Shoe: An Early Operant Conditioning Chamber for Pigeons. [Journal Article]
- Behav Anal 2016; 39(1):25-39BA
- We describe an early operant conditioning chamber fabricated by Harvard University instrument maker Ralph Gerbrands and shipped to Japan in 1952 in response to a request of Professor B. F. Skinner by...
We describe an early operant conditioning chamber fabricated by Harvard University instrument maker Ralph Gerbrands and shipped to Japan in 1952 in response to a request of Professor B. F. Skinner by Japanese psychologists. It is a rare example, perhaps the earliest still physically existing, of such a chamber for use with pigeons. Although the overall structure and many of the components are similar to contemporary pigeon chambers, several differences are noted and contrasted to evolutionary changes in this most important laboratory tool in the experimental analysis of behavior. The chamber also is testimony to the early internationalization of behavior analysis.
- [Baroreflex sensitivity and chronic pain : Pathogenetic significance and clinical implications]. [Journal Article]
- Schmerz 2016 Sep 7S
- The interaction of cardiovascular dynamics and pain perception is an important component of intrinsic pain regulation. In healthy subjects acute pain stimuli cause increased sympathetic arousal and i...
The interaction of cardiovascular dynamics and pain perception is an important component of intrinsic pain regulation. In healthy subjects acute pain stimuli cause increased sympathetic arousal and increased mean arterial pressure. Arterial baroreceptors sense phasic blood pressure changes and relay the information to the lower brainstem via the dorsomedial nucleus tractus solitarius (dmNTS). Projections in the brainstem and also higher cortical areas result in elevation of blood pressure as part of the autonomic nervous system as well as modulation of sleep, anxiety and pain. In healthy subjects there is an inverse relationship between blood pressure and pain sensitivity but this relationship is impaired in chronic pain patients. Persistent stress, pain behavior and classical and operant conditioning mechanisms reduce baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and dmNTS activity in a subgroup of patients. This leads to a decrease of autonomic regulatory function as well as reduced pain inhibition. Importantly, baroreflex function can be modulated by cognitive and affective processes. This article reviews the role of the baroreflex arc as a possible crucial factor in the development and maintenance of chronic pain. The importance of learning mechanisms is described. Mechanism-based individualized treatment approaches for patients with hypertensive stress reactivity are also critically discussed.
- The neurobiology of social play and its rewarding value in rats. [Review]
- Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2016 Aug 29NB
- In the young of many mammalian species, including humans, a vigorous and highly rewarding social activity is abundantly expressed, known as social play behaviour. Social play is thought to be importa...
In the young of many mammalian species, including humans, a vigorous and highly rewarding social activity is abundantly expressed, known as social play behaviour. Social play is thought to be important for the development of social, cognitive and emotional processes and their neural underpinnings, and it is disrupted in pediatric psychiatric disorders. Here, we summarize recent progress in our understanding of the brain mechanisms of social play behaviour, with a focus on its rewarding properties. Opioid, endocannabinoid, dopamine and noradrenaline systems play a prominent role in the modulation of social play. Of these, dopamine is particularly important for the motivational properties of social play. The nucleus accumbens has been identified as a key site for opioid and dopamine modulation of social play. Endocannabinoid influences on social play rely on the basolateral amygdala, whereas noradrenaline modulates social play through the basolateral amygdala, habenula and prefrontal cortex. In sum, social play behaviour is the result of coordinated activity in a network of corticolimbic structures, and its monoamine, opioid and endocannabinoid innervation.
- Twelve-Day Reinforcement-Based Memory Retention in African Cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus). [Journal Article]
- Front Behav Neurosci 2016; 10:157FB
- The formation of long-term memories for food sources is essential for the survival of most animals. Long-term memory formation in mammalian species has been demonstrated through a variety of conditio...
The formation of long-term memories for food sources is essential for the survival of most animals. Long-term memory formation in mammalian species has been demonstrated through a variety of conditioning tasks, however, the nature of long-term memory in fish is less known. In the current study, we explored whether African cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus) could form memories for food-reinforced stimuli that last for 12 days. During the training sessions, fish were reinforced for approaching an upward drifting line grating. After a rest period of 12 days, fish demonstrated a significant preference for the upward drifting grating. To determine whether this preference could also be reversed, fish were then reinforced for approaching a downward drifting line grating after a 20-day rest period. When tested 12 days later, there were no significant differences in preference for either stimulus; however, following a second training period for the downward stimulus, there was a significant preference for the downward drifting grating. This suggests that cichlids are able to form reversible discrimination-based memories for food-reinforced stimuli that remain consolidated for at least 12 days.
- The effects of aging and sex on detection of ultrasonic vocalizations by adult CBA/CaJ mice (Mus musculus). [Journal Article]
- Hear Res 2016 Aug 27; 341:119-129HR
- Mice are frequently used as animal models for human hearing research, yet their auditory capabilities have not been fully explored. Previous studies have established auditory threshold sensitivities ...
Mice are frequently used as animal models for human hearing research, yet their auditory capabilities have not been fully explored. Previous studies have established auditory threshold sensitivities for pure tone stimuli in CBA/CaJ mice using ABR and behavioral methodologies. Little is known about how they perceive their own ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), and nothing is known about how aging influences this perception. The aim of the present study was to establish auditory threshold sensitivity for several USV types, as well as to track these thresholds across the mouse's lifespan. In order to determine how well mice detect these complex communication stimuli, several CBA/CaJ mice were trained and tested at various ages on a detection task using operant conditioning procedures. Results showed that mice were able to detect USVs into old age. Not surprisingly, thresholds differed for the different USV types. Male mice suffered greater hearing loss than females for all calls but not for 42 kHz tones. In conclusion, the results highlight the importance of studying complex signals across the lifespan.
New Search Next
- Epicatechin, a component of dark chocolate, enhances memory formation if applied during the memory consolidation period. [Journal Article]
- Commun Integr Biol 2016 Jul-Aug; 9(4):e1205772CI
- Epicatechin (Epi), a flavanol found in foods such as dark chocolate has previously been shown to enhance memory formation in our model system, operant conditioning of aerial respiration in Lymnaea. I...
Epicatechin (Epi), a flavanol found in foods such as dark chocolate has previously been shown to enhance memory formation in our model system, operant conditioning of aerial respiration in Lymnaea. In those experiments snails were trained in Epi. Here we ask whether snails exposed to Epi before training, during the consolidation period immediately following training, or 1 h after training would enhance memory formation. We report here that Epi is only able to enhance memory if snails are placed in Epi-containing pond water immediately after training. That is, Epi enhances memory formation if it is applied during the memory consolidation period as well as if snails are trained in Epi-containing pond water.