Multiple schedules have been used in behavioral pharmacology research to show that a drug's effect on behavior can be a function of the schedule of reinforcement that supports that behavior. However, less research has examined whether the context of the schedule of reinforcement in a multiple schedule can change the drug's effect on behavior. We examined the effects of acute chlordiazepoxide and damphetamine injections on the behavior of two groups of pigeons trained on a three-component multiple schedule with identical schedules of reinforcement in the first and last components. For one group of pigeons reinforcement was unavailable during the middle component (decreased-middle-component). For the second group reinforcement rate was higher during the middle component than during the first or third components (increased-middle-component). In the decreased-middle-component group, chlordiazepoxide (3.2-32 mg/kg) decreased third-component response rates less than it decreased responding in the first component. Conversely, in the increased-middle-component group, chlordiazepoxide (3.2- 10 mg/kg) decreased third-component response rates more than in the first component. In both groups, damphetamine did not differentially affect response rates across components. These results are consistent with previous research showing that drugs can differentially affect responding to two different schedules of reinforcement during the same session, and suggest that pharmacological preparations may be helpful in elucidating the mechanisms that control multiple schedule interactions.
- Response strength
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience