Data_Sheet_2_On the Similarity Between the Reinforcing and the Discriminative Properties of Intracranial Self-Stimulation.ZIP
Rats work very hard for intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) and tradeoff effort or time allocation for intensity and frequency parameters producing a sigmoidal function of the subjective reward magnitude of ICSS. Previous studies using electrical intracranial stimuli (ICS) as a discriminative cue focused on estimating detection thresholds or on the discrimination between intensities. To our knowledge, there is no direct comparison of the reinforcer tradeoff functions with the discriminative functions. Rats were trained to press and hold the lever for ICSS using the maximum reinforcing intensity below motor alterations or avoidance behavior. First, rats were trained to hold the lever for 1 s; after stability, they undergo trials where intensity or frequency was decreased on 0.1 log step. Thereafter, they undergo further training with a hold of 2 and later of 4 s to determine tradeoff with intensity or frequency. The same rats were trained on a discrimination task where the previously used ICSS signaled a lever where a 1 s hold response was followed by a reinforcing ICSS; on randomly alternating trials, a −0.6 log ICS signaled an alternate lever where a similar hold response led to a reinforcer. After mastering discrimination, generalization tests were carried out with varying intensity or frequency. Rats completed training with 2 and later 4 s hold response. After the completion of each task, the rats had different doses of a pimozide challenge while their intensity and hold-down requirement were varied. With regards to the rats’ tradeoff response time allocation as a function of intensity or frequency, sigmoid functions were displaced to the right when long responses were required. Rats that learned the discrimination task attained a discrimination index of 90–98%. Discrimination accuracy decreased slightly with the increase of hold requirement, but generalization gradients were not displaced to the right as a function of the response requirement. Pimozide induced a dose-dependent displacement of the time-allocation gradients, but it did not affect the generalization gradients. It is concluded that rats integrate response requirements as part of the reinforcement tradeoff function, but the response cost is not integrated into the discriminative function of ICSS.