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Effects of MO Magnitude on the Acquisition of Operant Responding and Discrimination Learning
AdvisorHayes, Linda J.
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Two groups of mice were exposed to a series of acquisition and discrimination training/testing sessions under different combinations of motivational conditions to study a) the effects of motivating operations (MOs) during the initial acquisition of operant responding and discrimination learning, and b) interactions between MOs during initial training and those prevailing during subsequent assessments of learning. One group received all acquisition and discrimination training sessions under 24-hr food deprivation conditions while the other received all sessions under 0-hr food deprivation (i.e., satiation) conditions. While learning was evident in both groups, mice who received this training under 24-hr food deprivation conditions exhibited greater changes in behavior across training sessions and a greater overall level of food-related behavior during training. Subsequent to discrimination training sessions, subjects in both groups received two discrimination tests to assess whether MOs affect the degree of discrimination learning that had occurred. One test was conducted under 24-hr food deprivation and the other was conducted under 0-hr food deprivation. Results of the tests indicated no difference between groups as measured by discrimination ratio, but subjects trained under 24-hr deprivation made more responses in the 24-hr test, while subjects trained under 0-hr deprivation made more responses in the 0-hr test. These results and their implications are discussed in terms of motivational state-dependent learning.