Response repetition in pigeons: pharmacological and behavioral specificity

Wouter Koek, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Using a reinforcement schedule that arranges random sequences of reinforcements over two response keys, low and high probabilities of repetition of non-reinforced responses were generated in two groups of pigeons (n=3 per group) by varying the probability of reinforcement for responding on the key to which reinforcement was assigned. Unlike rats, the pigeons did not show a tendency to repeat just-reinforced responses, but showed a strong position bias, that was reduced by additional feeding and extinction, but not by any of the drug treatments. Apomorphine increased response repetition, irrespective of the control probability of repetition; d-amphetamine increased low probabilities of repetition, but decreased high probabilities. Chlordiazepoxide and scopolamine selectively decreased high probabilities of repetition; phencyclidine and pentobarbital selectively increased low probabilities of repetition. Morphine, haloperidol, chlorpromazine, additional feeding, and extinction did not affect repetition of non-reinforced responses. Extinction increased perseveration, whereas drug effects on perseveration were not observed. Drug-induced changes of patterning of responses as exemplified herein by drug-induced alterations of repetitiveness may be relevant to the interpretation of drug effects upon performance brought about by other behavioral processes such as discrimination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-481
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphetamine
  • Apomorphine
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Chlorpromazine
  • Extinction
  • Haloperidol
  • Morphine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phencyclidine
  • Pigeons
  • Response repetition
  • Response switching
  • Satiation
  • Scopolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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