Food-motivated operant conditioning test

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Progressive-ratio (PR) schedules permit studying food-motivated behavior.

These schedules require an increasing number of operant responses to obtain successive rewards within a session. For example, a typical PR 5 schedule requires five responses to produce the first reinforcer, and the response requirement is incremented by five each time a reinforcer is earned. The breaking point, defined as the highest ratio completed is a classical measure reflecting the efficacy or motivational strength of food, and is increased in response to food-deprivation or reward high palatability.

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Reasons for choosing this test

  • Sensible to fine modifications in feeding behavior than can not always be assessed under free-access conditions
  • Sensitive for both rats and mice

Reasons for not choosing this test

  • Requires food deprivation
  • Laborious procedure: may requires many sessions of learning
  • Influenced by any alteration in learning processe
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