Fixed-interval responding under second-order schedules of food presentation or cocaine injection

J Exp Anal Behav. 1977 Nov;28(3):221-31. doi: 10.1901/jeab.1977.28-221.


Squirrel monkeys operated a key under second-order schedules in which every tenth completion of a 5-minute fixed interval resulted in either presentation of food or intravenous injection of cocaine. When a 2-second light was presented at the completion of the component fixed-interval schedules, positively accelerated responding developed and was maintained in each component. Over a tenfold range of doses of cocaine(30 to 300 microgram/kg/injection) and amounts of food (0.75 to 7.5 g/presentation); the second-order schedule of cocaine injection maintained higher average rates of responding than the second-order schedule of food presentation. Substituting saline for cocaine or eliminating food presentation decreased average rates of responding. When no stimulus change occurred at the completion of the first nine component fixed-interval schedules, but the 2-second light and food presentation or cocaine injection still occurred after the tenth component, only low and relatively constant rates of responding were maintained in each component. Patterns of responding characteristic of 5-minute fixed-interval schedules were maintained by the 2-second light paired with either cocaine injection or food presentation, though the maximum frequency of cocaine injection or food presentation was less than once per 50 minutes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cocaine / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Feeding Behavior* / drug effects
  • Haplorhini
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reinforcement Schedule*
  • Saimiri


  • Cocaine