The Psychological Record

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 151–162 | Cite as

Delay Gradients for Spout-Licking and Magazine-Entering Induced by a Periodic Food Schedule

  • Ricardo Pellón
  • Javier Íbias
  • Peter R. Killeen
Original Article


The present experiments studied impulsivity by manipulating the delay between target responses and presentation of a reinforcer. Food-deprived SHR, WKY, and Wistar rats were exposed to a fixed-time 30-s schedule of food pellet presentation until they developed stable patterns of water spout-licking and magazine-entering. In successive phases of the study, a resetting delay contingency postponed food delivery if target responses (licks or entries) occurred within the last 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 25, or 28 s of the inter-food interval. Response-food delays were applied independently for the two behaviors during separate experimental phases, and order of presentation and the behavior that was punished first were counterbalanced. Licking was induced in the order of Wistar > SHR > WKY, and magazine entries were in the order of SHR > WKY > Wistar. Magazine entries showed steeper delay gradients than licking in SHR and Wistar rats but were of similar great inclination in the WKY rats. The different responses were differentially sensitive to delays. This suggests a different ordering of them in the interval between reinforcers. It also has implications for attempts to change impulsive behavior, both in terms of the nature of the response and its removal from reinforcing consequences.


Schedule-induced behavior Licks Magazine entries Response-food delays Strain differences Rats 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Psicología Básica I, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad Nacional de Educación a DistanciaMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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