Effects of punishing target response during extinction on resurgence and renewal in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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We examined the effects of the presence and absence of punishment on the resurgence and renewal of extinguished operant behavior with zebrafish. With resurgence, food deliveries reinforced target responding in Phase 1 was exposed to shock punishment plus extinction (PUN + EXT) versus extinction alone (EXT) while introducing alternative reinforcement in Phase 2. All contingencies were discontinued in Phase 3. With renewal, target reinforcement during Phase 1 occurred in Context A and then during Phase 2 was exposed to either PUN + EXT or EXT in Context B. All contingencies were discontinued in Context A during Phase 3. During Phase 2 for both resurgence and renewal, decreases in target responding were more rapid with PUN + EXT than EXT. During testing in Phase 3, resurgence was less following PUN + EXT than EXT. In contrast, renewal was greater following PUN + EXT than EXT but differences in response rates at the end of Phase 2 complicated the interpretation. We discuss these differences between resurgence and renewal as due to differences in learning about alternative reinforcement (resurgence) versus more general contextual changes (renewal).

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Behavioural processes

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