Reinforcement Magnitude as a Determinant of Performance Decrement after Electroconvulsive Shock

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Science  19 Apr 1968:
Vol. 160, Issue 3825, pp. 330-332
DOI: 10.1126/science.160.3825.330


The intensity of a foot shock may be a determinant of the rate at which an avoidance response becomes resistant to disruption by electroconvulsive shock. Mice were trained, one trial a day, in a passive avoidance learning task, with one of three foot-shock intensities. Electroconvulsive shock was administered at various intervals after each trial. At all foot-shock intensities, electroconvulsive shock given 10 seconds after each training trial was eflective in disrupting learning. Where electroconvulsive shock was given at longer intervals after each trial, those animals learning at low intensities of foot shock showed greater impairment of performance than those learning at high intensities.

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