System-specific differences in behavior regulation: Overrunning and underdrinking in molar nondepriving schedules

Donald J. Gawley, William Timberlake, Gary A. Lucas
1987 Journal of Experimental Psychology Animal Behavior Processes  
In two experiments we tested the molar regulation prediction that animals adjust schedule performance to reduce deviations from baseline response totals. Both experiments constrained the baseline drink-burst length under molar nondepriving schedules but allowed rats to continue running without drinking. In Experiment 1, rats were required to run in order to drink. In Experiment 2, water was delivered independently of running by fixed-time (FT) schedules. Under the run-to-drink contingency, rats
more » ... k contingency, rats exceeded their baseline amounts of running (overrunning) but failed to maintain their baseline water intake (underdrinking). The total amount of running that did not lead to drinking approximated baseline running. Under the FT schedules, rats again underdrank, but total running approximated baseline. These results do not support previous studies that have shown molar equilibrium effects under nondepriving reciprocal schedules. We conclude that (a) contingent running may not substitute for independent running; (b) intermittent access to water reduces the total instigation for drinking; (c) molar regulation differs under reciprocal and nonreciprocal schedules; and (d) more dynamic, system-specific regulatory models need to be developed.
doi:10.1037/0097-7403.13.4.354 pmid:3668476 fatcat:rnhxo3tmwva3dbzt3yqu5uwwiq