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Microstructural analysis of negative anticipatory contrast: A reconsideration of the devaluation account

Wright, Rebecca L., Gilmour, Gary and Dwyer, Dominic M. 2013. Microstructural analysis of negative anticipatory contrast: A reconsideration of the devaluation account. Learning & Behavior 41 (4) , pp. 353-359. 10.3758/s13420-013-0110-1

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Abstract

An animal’s appetitive behavior is not a fixed response to current stimulation but can be affected by the anticipation of future events. For example, rats regularly given access to a moderately valued solution followed by a higher value solution (e.g. 4% sucrose → 32% sucrose) consume less of the initial solution than in control conditions where the initial solution is not followed by a higher value solution (e.g. 4% sucrose → 4% sucrose). Previous analyses have suggested that this negative anticipatory contrast effect does not depend on the “expectation” of a valuable stimulus producing a functional devaluation of a currently available stimulus of lesser value. In a within-subject anticipatory contrast procedure, this study revealed that both consumption and the mean size of licking clusters were smaller for a 4% sucrose solution on days when it preceded 32% sucrose than on days when 4% preceded 4%. As lick cluster size typically bears a positive monotonic relationship with the concentration of palatable solutions, this reduction is indicative of a decrease in the palatability/hedonic value of the solution subject to contrast. As such, we provide direct evidence that negative anticipatory contrast does produce a functional devaluation of the solution, thus challenging prevailing theoretical assumptions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contrast; Licking; Microstructural analysis; Cluster size; Rats
Publisher: Psychonomic Society
ISSN: 1543-4494
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2019 11:37
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/47509

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