Relapse Study

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Introduction The purpose of our experiment is to detect the feature of relapse when the reinforcement of the alternative behaviour is discontinued. A relapse is a recurrence of a past conditioned behaviour. Podlesnik et al. (2006) found that discontinuing non-drug reinforcement for rats can cause their drug seeking behaviour to recur. Leitenberg et al. (1970) found similar results in their study. However, previous studies were not able to discover the difference of the relapse strength between behaviours that went on longer extinctions and shorter extinctions. In our study, each key will give reinforcement to the pigeons when they peck it during one of the conditions. At the end, all of them will go on extinction. Therefore, our study can observe…show more content…
They are well-trained to retrieve food from our experimental equipment. We divide them into four groups and give each of them a label: A1, A2, A3; B1, B2, B3; C1, C2, C3; D1, D2, D3. We feed them with mixed grain and give them access to water and grit in their home cages. The weight range of the subjects are maintained at 85% of their free feeding weight. We weigh them after each experimental session in order to keep them within 10g of 85% of their free feeding weight. Apparatus We use experimental chambers as our apparatuses. There is a camera in the chamber for in class observation. Front and back walls are made out of Perspex and the other walls are made out of sheet metal. They are 300 mm long. The floor (295 mm long and 250 mm wide) is made of iron bars. There is also a house light on the back wall. There are three keys (key 1, key2, key 3, the order is random for each pigeon) for response. They are plastic discs and are lit up with a blue light when the key is being recorded. They are 190 mm from the floor and 60 mm from each other. The diameter of the key is 25 mm. There is a magazine for the pigeons to eat grain and there is a hopper filled with grain behind the magazine. The height and length of the magazine are 50 mm and the width is 70 mm. It is 40 mm from the floor. In the room next door, there is a computer running Med-Pc IV. This controls all experimental events and records response
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