Extinction induced drinking in hungry rats

Panksepp, J.; Toates, F. M. and Oatley, K. (1972). Extinction induced drinking in hungry rats. Animal Behaviour, 20(3) pp. 493–498.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(72)80013-7


Rats undergoing extinction of instrumental behaviour previouly rewarded by food in Skinner boxes and consummatory behaviour in the home cage showed increased drinking compared with control animals. Also during extinction the number of bouts of licking increased above the levels observed before extinction of the food acquiring response. Increased drinking in extinction depended on a certain level of food deprivation, and did not occur substantially in only slightly hungry rats. It did occur in rats not allowed water while working for food and thus it could not be attributed principally to perseveration of drinking behaviour acquired while eating. These phenomena appear to be displacement activities by hungry rats whose expectations of receiving food are not fulfilled. The explanation of the behaviour observed as frustration induced displacement activity may be applicable both to starvation polydipsia and to schedule induced polydipsia.

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