Learning & Behavior
The effects of reinforcement on delayed matching to sample (DMTS) have been studied in two within-subjects procedures. In one, reinforcer magnitudes or probabilities vary from trial to trial and are signaled within trials (designated signaled DMTS trials). In the other, reinforcer probabilities are consistent for a series of trials produced by responding on variable-interval (VI) schedules within multiple-schedule components (designated multiple VI DMTS). In both procedures, forgetting functions in rich trials or components are higher than and roughly parallel to those in lean trials or components. However, during disruption, accuracy has been found to decrease more in rich than in lean signaled DMTS trials and, conversely, to decrease more in lean than in rich multiple VI DMTS components. In the present study, we compared these procedures in two groups of pigeons. In baseline, forgetting functions in rich trials or components were higher than and roughly parallel to those in lean trials or components, and were similar between the procedures. During disruption by prefeeding or extinction, accuracy decreased more in rich signaled DMTS trials, whereas accuracy decreased more in lean multiple VI DMTS components. These results replicate earlier studies and are predicted by a model of DMTS from Nevin, Davison, Odum, and Shahan (2007).
Nevin, J. A., Shahan, T. A., Odum, A. L., & Ward, R. (2012). Delayed matching to sample: Reinforcement has opposite effects on resistance to change in two related procedures