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

Toshikazu Kuroda, Aichi Bunkyo University, 5969-3 Okusa, Komaki, Aichi, 485-8565, Japan. Electronic address: toshikazu.kuroda@gmail.com.
Shawn P. Gilroy, Louisiana State University, 226 Audubon, Baton Rouge, LA, USA. Electronic address: sgilroy1@lsu.edu.
Carlos R. Cançado, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, 70.910-900, Brasília-DF, Brazil. Electronic address: carlos.cancado@gmail.com.
Christopher A. Podlesnik, Auburn University, 226 Thach Hall, Auburn University, AL, 36849-5214, USA. Electronic address: cpodlesnik@auburn.edu.


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).