Schedule control of behavior reinforced by electrical stimulation of the brain

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Science  29 Apr 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4289, pp. 547-549
DOI: 10.1126/science.850798


Electrical stimulation of the brain was used to train rats to respond on random interval schedules. Stimulation was either delayed for 0.5 second and preceded by a brief signal, delayed and unsignaled, or presented contiguously with the response. In every case, responding was maintained on schedules and showed resistance to extinction typical of food-reinforced responding. Priming was never necessary. These data cast doubt on the generality of beliefs about the behavioral effects of brain stimulation reinforcement.