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Operant conditioning in the indigo snake


It was demonstrated that indigo snakes can be conditioned to operate a contact relay and press a key. The other major findings were: (1) Water can be an effective positive rein forcer for snakes; (2) the cumulative records of snakes show a step-shaped pattern; (3) snakes can respond at high rates for short periods of time; (4) snakes can sustain an FR4 schedule; and (5) moulting does not completely disrupt the effects of conditioning.


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Correspondence to Paul R. Kleinginna Jr..

Additional information

The author gratefully acknowledges the many helpful suggestions of Dr. Daniel B. Cruse in this work.

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Kleinginna, P.R. Operant conditioning in the indigo snake. Psychon Sci 18, 53–55 (1970).

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  • Saccharin
  • Experimental Chamber
  • Saccharin Solution
  • Contact Wire
  • Cumulative Record