Control of instrumental behavior by deprivation stimuli

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, T. L. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In Exp I, 40 male Holtzman rats were given 1 trial/day in a straight alley under food deprivation on half of the trials and under water deprivation on the other half. Ss in both the food and water deprivation groups ran significantly faster on their rewarded than on their nonrewarded deprivation days after 15-28 trials. A 3rd group showed that random variation of alley color retarded information of the discrimination. A 4th group took 114 trials to begin running significantly faster in their rewarded than in their nonrewarded alley under each deprivation. In Exp II with 10 Ss from Exp I and 10 naive Ss, prior learning about deprivation cues "blocked" learning about alley color when it was subsequently presented in compound with the deprivation cue, but that when both alley color and deprivation cues were relevant from the start of training, the S learned about both cues. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-367
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1979


  • alley color &
  • food vs water deprivation &
  • food vs water reward, running &
  • learning rate, male rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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