Previous studies have shown that providing an optional food for a brief period of time to non-food deprived rats on an intermittent basis in the home cage engenders significantly more intake (binge-type behavior) than when the optional food is provided for a brief period on a daily basis. Experiment 1 examined the effects of placing a small operant response requirement on access to an optional food (vegetable shortening) on the establishment of binge-type behavior. Experiment 2 examined the effects of different schedules of reinforcement, a period of abstinence from shortening, and 24. h of food deprivation on established binge-type behavior. In Experiment 1 the group of rats with 30-min access to shortening on an intermittent basis in their home cages (IC) consumed significantly more shortening than the group with 30-min daily access in the home cage (DC). The group with 30-min intermittent access in an operant chamber (IO group) earned significantly more reinforcers than the group with 30-min daily access in an operant chamber (DO). In Experiment 2, the IO group earned significantly more reinforcers than the DO group regardless of the response cost, the period of shortening abstinence, and overnight food deprivation. These results demonstrate that while intermittent access generates binge-type eating, the size of the binge (intake) can be altered by different contingency arrangements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience