, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 297-298
Date: 24 Oct 2013

The relation between differences in level of food deprivation and dominance in food getting in the rat


Two experiments investigated the contradictory results obtained by Ruskin & Corman (1971) and Hsaio & Schreiber (1968) concerning the effect of different motivation levels on measures of food-getting dominance in the laboratory rat. Using the dominance tube, Hsaio and Schreiber found that decreasing motivation of dominant animals affected competitive performance, whereas Ruskin and Corman found no change in dominance relationships in the limited access situation when increasing the motivation of subordinates. Measurement of time spent at a food trough and the amount of food eaten showed that experimental conditions equivalent to those used by Ruskin and Corman did not change feeding behavior significantly. When these changes were effected, the measurement of food dominance by the limited access measure supported Hsaio and Schreiber’s finding that dominance relationships in the rat are stable only while deprivation levels are held constant.