Author(s): Foltin RW
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Abstract The effects of the availability of an alternative reinforcer on responding maintained by food pellets or fluid solutions were examined in 6 adult male baboons (Papio cynocephalus anubis). During daily 23-hr experimental sessions, baboons had concurrent access to both food pellets and fluid, with responding maintained under fixed-ratio schedules of reinforcement that varied between the two commodities. The fixed-ratio requirement, or cost, for pellets was increased when (a) no fluid, (b) a dilute dextrose vehicle, (c) 0.002 mg/kg d-amphetamine, or (d) 0.004 mg/kg d-amphetamine was available. When given nonrestricted concurrent access to food pellets and amphetamine at minimal cost (FR 2), baboons self-administered sufficient amphetamine to decrease pellet intake. Increasing the response requirement for pellets decreased pellet intake at a similar rate regardless of the available fluid and increased fluid intake in a variable manner among baboons such that there were no statistically significant increases in fluid intake. In contrast, when access to pellets was restricted to 70\% of maximal intake under nonrestricted conditions, increasing pellet cost decreased pellet intake and increased fluid intake more rapidly when the high amphetamine dose was available. Thus, amphetamine was more effective as an economic substitute for pellets when access to pellets was restricted. The response cost for vehicle and both amphetamine concentrations was increased when baboons had nonrestricted and restricted access to pellets. Increasing the response requirement for fluid delivery decreased intake of all three fluids similarly under both pellet-access conditions. The results indicate that substitution between commodities with minimal commonalities can be studied under controlled laboratory conditions and is dependent upon reinforcement schedule and commodity restrictions.
This article was published in J Exp Anal Behav
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy