Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Because impulsive decision-making is correlated with many maladaptive tendencies, researchers have increasingly studied methods for reducing impulsive choice. Most research in this area has focused on reducing delay-based impulsive choice, as measured by choices between smaller, immediate or larger, delayed rewards. A second type of impulsive choice is selecting a smaller, less-effortful reward over a larger, more-effortful one. Little nonhuman research has examined experimental methods for reducing effort-based impulsive choice. Within the realm of delay-based impulsive choice, extended exposure to reinforcer delays has proven effective in reducing impulsive choices in rats. The current study took a similar tac by evaluating if reductions in effort-based impulsive choice could be achieved by providing rats with extended exposure to high-effort training, i.e., reinforcement contingencies requiring a large number of responses. Male rats were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (1) high-effort training (fixed-ratio 50) or (2) low-effort training (fixed-ratio 1). Following training, both groups completed three tests of effort-based impulsive choice. There was an initial effect of HE training on effort-based impulsive choice, however the training effect quickly diminished across sessions for two out of the three tests. Possible explanations for the lack of lasting effect are discussed.
Peck, Sara, "Effects of Effort Training on Effort-Based Impulsive Choice" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7997.
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