Schedule-Induced Polydipsia: The Role of Orolingual Factors and a New Hypothesis

  • William J. Freed
  • Ronald F. Zec
  • Joseph Mendelson


When a food-deprived animal is intermittently fed small amounts of food, it rapidly develops a tendency to ingest water immediately following the ingestion of each morsel (Falk, 1961, 1969). An appropriate choice of various parameters can lead these animals to ingest greatly excessive quantities of water. In one experiment, female rats with a mean free-feeding weight of 264 g were deprived of food until their body weights dropped to 70–80% of normal. When they were given the opportunity to bar-press for 45-mg dry food pellets on a variable-interval 1-min schedule, they ingested a mean of 92.5 ml of water per 3.17-hr session (Falk, 1961). Such quantities of intake are greatly excessive whether compared to the normal 24-hr intake or to the amount of water that would be ingested if the rats were allowed to eat the same amount of food ad libitum. This phenomenon, which is referred to as schedule-induced polydipsia or by the acronym SIP (Falk, 1964), can be explained neither in terms of traditional behavioral phenomena, such as adventitious reinforcement or timing behavior (Falk, 1969), nor in terms of water-regulatory variables, such as impaired renal concentrating ability or de facto water deprivation (Falk, 1969; Stricker and Adair, 1966).


Conditioned Stimulus Food Pellet Sensory Feedback Conditioned Taste Aversion Drinking Tube 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Freed
    • 1
  • Ronald F. Zec
    • 2
  • Joseph Mendelson
    • 2
  1. 1.The Laboratory of Clinical Psychopharmacology, National Institute of Mental HealthSt. Elizabeth’s HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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