Rats first trained for 10-15 days to bar-press for lateral hypothalamic brain stimulation while feeding ad lib and then for 17-18 days to maintain weight by eating in a Skinner box under a 22.75-hr food deprivation schedule demonstrate a preference for brain stimulation when food and brain stimulation are simultaneously available. This maladaptive behavior has been called "self-starvation." If the experimental procedure is modified so that in addition to the training in self-stimulation and feeding the animals are given daily a 1.25-hr self-stimulation session and immediately before or after the self-stimulation session a 1.25-hr feeding period for eight days prior to brain stimulation food competition, animals do not meet self-starvation criteria. Moreover when self-starvation has been demonstrated it can be attenuated in a second brain stimulaion food competition preceded by the eight-day alternate feeding and self-stimulation phase of the modified procedure. The attenuating effect of this manipulation of procedure is discussed in terms of adaptation to stress.
- Food deprivation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience