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Effects of a brief novel stimulus during temporally spaced responding: Evidence for external inhibition?


Following training on schedules which differentially reinforce low rates of responding (DRL), three rats were exposed to a procedure to test for external inhibition. During test trials, a tone was presented midway in the DRL interval and the latency to the next response recorded. The incidence of external inhibition (defined in terms of the latency and its relative probability) appeared to be positively related to the size of the DRL schedule and not to measures of the subject’s “efficiency” on the schedule. An alternative view to the “pure” disinhibition hypothesis is presented which stresses the disruption of collateral behavior sequences which maintain responding under the DRL schedule.

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Correspondence to Hank Davis.

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Davis, H., Iriye, C. Effects of a brief novel stimulus during temporally spaced responding: Evidence for external inhibition?. Conditional Reflex 8, 67–79 (1973).

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  • Probe Stimulus
  • Lateral Behavior
  • Interresponse Time
  • Tone Probe
  • External Inhibition