Sensitivity to delay is affected by magnitude of reinforcement in rats

Vladimir Orduña, Lourdes Valencia-Torres, Guadalupe Cruz, Arturo Bouzas

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has provided discrepant results about how reinforcement delay and magnitude are combined to determine the value of the alternatives in concurrent-chains schedules. In the present experiment, we analyzed a possible interaction between these characteristics of reinforcement, employing a two component concurrent-chains schedule, with rats as experimental subjects. Non-independent VI schedules were presented in the initial links of each component. In the terminal links, the following pairs of delays to reinforcement were presented in 4 conditions: 2-28, 6-24, 24-6, 28-2s (fixed time schedules for a group, fixed interval schedules for the other). Magnitude of reinforcement was maintained constant within components: one pellet for one component, and four pellets for the other. The results indicated that in both groups, the sensitivity to delay - calculated according to the generalized matching law - was higher in the component with the larger reinforcer. This result is in contrast with those reported in the literature of temporal discounting with human participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Processes
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • concurrent chains
  • generalized matching law
  • magnitude of reinforcement
  • sensitivity to delay
  • temporal discounting
  • rats


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