The role of incentive learning in instrumental outcome revaluation by sensory-specific satiety

Abstract

Hungry rats were trained to perform two instrumental actions, one for salt- and the other for lemonflavored polycose solution. When they were sated on one of these two outcomes by prefeeding immediately prior to a choice extinction test, the action trained with the prefed solution was performed less than the other action. The subsequent experiments examined the role of incentive learning in this specific satiety-induced outcome revaluation effect. The second experiment demonstrated that the experience of consuming a flavored polycose solution to satiety enabled the state induced by polycose consumption to control the devaluation of the flavored outcome. By contrast, the third study found that, although devaluing the prefed outcome, specific-satiety treatments could induce a relative inflation in the incentive value of other food outcomes. The final two studies demonstrated an increased outcome-devaluation effect in instrumental performance when these devaluation and revaluation effects were combined. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that specific satiety treatments produce changes in outcome value that depend upon incentive learning.

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Correspondence to Bernard W. Balleine.

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The research reported in this article was supported by grants from the Academic Senate, UCLA, the National Institute of Mental Health, NIMH Grant MH 56446, and the European Commission BIOMED 2 program. The authors thank Claire Garner, Suzette Glasner, Susan Sorenson, and Michaeline Hanney for their assistance in running the experiments.

—Accepted by previous editor, Robert A. Rescorla

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Balleine, B.W., Dickinson, A. The role of incentive learning in instrumental outcome revaluation by sensory-specific satiety. Animal Learning & Behavior 26, 46–59 (1998). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03199161

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Keywords

  • Incentive Learning
  • Extinction Test
  • Concurrent Training
  • Maintenance Diet
  • Instrumental Training