The effects of strong irrelevant thirst on food-rewarded instrumental performance

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, John R. Hovancik, Engin O. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In Experiment I, rats received one food rewarded trial per day in a runway. One group received all its trials under hunger (Group H); the second group received a random half of its trials under hunger and the other half of its trials under hunger plus thirst (Group H-HT). Group H-HT ultimately ran slower on HT trials than on H trials. In Experiment II, the effects of shifting from H to HT and vice versa were examined in a five-phase design. In general, rats run under H ran faster than rats run under HT, and shifts from H to HT produced rapid decreases in speed, while shifts from HT to H produced extremely slow increases in speed. The results of both experiments were interpreted as indicating that the reward value of food is greater under H than under HT and that the manipulation H vs. HT may be viewed as theoretically similar to manipulation of reward magnitude.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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