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Cooperative responding in rats under fixed and variable ratio reinforcement schedules

Grant number: 16/17069-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2016
Effective date (End): October 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Deisy das Graças de Souza
Grantee:Letícia dos Santos
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The experimental analysis of cooperation involves the systematic investigation of the combined behavior of two or more individuals and the effects of the consequences that arise from these behaviors on the individual. The unit of analysis of cooperation is, the aggregate product of at least two responses and one of each response arising from the action of at least two different behaving organisms and occurring under well defined spatiotemporal parameters. Researchers have used different procedures to investigate the effects of the manipulation of independent variables upon cooperative responses. While manipulations of different parameters in interdependent preparations have been extensively investigated, there has been little interest on comparing the effects of different schedules of reinforcement on cooperative responses. The present study was designed to investigate possible functional relations between schedules of reinforcement and cooperative responding in rats. In Phase 1, individual lever pressing will be shaped and maintained under a variable-ratio 5 schedule (VR5). In Phase 2, two independent operant chambers will be coupled and separated from each other by a plastic glass. Rats in a pair will each be placed in one chamber and will respond under a cooperative contingency, (arranged as a manipulation of a minimum interval timing requirement for the occurrence of responses between the two rats), with a continuous scheduled reinforcement (FR1). Phases 1 and 2 will be the same for all pairs. There will be two different conditions in Phase 3. In this condition, cooperative responding will be investigated under two different schedules of reinforcement, each schedule being imposed for half the pairs. For one half, a fixed-ratio schedule for cooperative responding will be programmed at different values (varying from FR2 to FR10). For the second half, a variable-ratio schedule for cooperative responding will be programmed at different values (varying from VR2 to VR10). In Phase 4, conditions will be reversed between the two half of pairs. Pairs that responded under FR10 in Phase 3 will respond under VR10 in Phase 4, and vice-versa. The candidate for this scholarship will collaborate on the realization of Condition 1 (FR/VR). (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE CARVALHO, LUCAS COUTO; DOS SANTOS, LETICIA; REGACO, ALCEU; COUTO, KALLIU CARVALHO; DE SOUZA, DEISY DAS GRACAS; TODOROV, JOAO CLAUDIO. Cooperative responding in rats:II. Performance on fixed-ratio schedules of mutual reinforcement. JOURNAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR, v. 114, n. 3, p. 291-307, NOV 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
CORTEZ, MARIELE DINIZ; DOS SANTOS, LETICIA; QUINTAL, ANA ELISA; SILVEIRA, V, MARCELO; DE ROSE, JULIO C. Learning a foreign language: Effects of tact and listener instruction on the emergence of bidirectional intraverbals. JOURNAL OF APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS, v. 53, n. 1, p. 484-492, JAN 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
DE CARVALHO, LUCAS COUTO; DOS SANTOS, LETICIA; REGACO, ALCEU; BARBOSA, THIAGO BRAGA; DA SILVA, RAFAEL FERNANDO; DE SOUZA, DEISY DAS GRACAS; SANDAKER, INGUNN. Cooperative responding in rats maintained by fixed- and variable-ratio schedules. JOURNAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR, v. 110, n. 1, p. 105-126, JUL 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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