The partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) in female Roman high- (RHA-I) and low-avoidance (RLA-I) rats

Behav Brain Res. 2008 Dec 12;194(2):187-92. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2008.07.009. Epub 2008 Jul 18.


The present experiment was designed with the goal of studying the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE) in female inbred Roman high- (RHA-I) and low-avoidance (RLA-I) rats. Two groups of RHA-I and two of RLA-I food-deprived animals were placed in a straight alley where they were partially or continuously reinforced. Once the animals reached the acquisition criterion, they were exposed to an extinction phase where the reinforcement was omitted. During the extinction phase RHA-I animals continuously reinforced during acquisition exhibited more resistance to extinction than their RLA-I counterparts, whereas only RLA-I rats partially reinforced during acquisition showed an increased resistance to extinction in comparison to continuously reinforced control RLA-I rats, this PREE being absent in RHA-I animals. These results are discussed within the framework of PREE theories that account for this effect by using emotional mechanisms, as pertains to the repeatedly observed RHA-RLA differences in emotional reactivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anxiety / genetics*
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
  • Extinction, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation
  • Rats
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*