Event Title

The effects of incentive contrast in risk sensitive foraging in rats (Rattus norvegicus)

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Baine Craft, Ph.D.

Project Type

Completed qualitative research study

Primary Department

Psychology

Description

Dramatic decreases in reward quality have led to paradoxical differences in operant and classically conditioned responding, called incentive contrast effects. Although, no studies have investigated how changes in reward quality result in variation in risk sensitive foraging. We measured changes in risk sensitive foraging resulting from a downshift in reward quality (100% sucrose concentration to 20% sucrose). Rats were randomly assigned into two groups: contrast and control, and given the same sucrose concentration pre-shift, but different sucrose levels post-shift. We observed a significant change in choice that was not reflective of an incentive contrast effect.

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The effects of incentive contrast in risk sensitive foraging in rats (Rattus norvegicus)

Dramatic decreases in reward quality have led to paradoxical differences in operant and classically conditioned responding, called incentive contrast effects. Although, no studies have investigated how changes in reward quality result in variation in risk sensitive foraging. We measured changes in risk sensitive foraging resulting from a downshift in reward quality (100% sucrose concentration to 20% sucrose). Rats were randomly assigned into two groups: contrast and control, and given the same sucrose concentration pre-shift, but different sucrose levels post-shift. We observed a significant change in choice that was not reflective of an incentive contrast effect.