Bright light was an effective aversive stimulus for Wistar rats in punishment, escape, and avoidance paradigms. Contingent punishment of lever pressing maintained by concurrent schedules of food delivery shifted presses to an alternate lever, and depressed overall response rates. Periodic non-contingent presentation of the light prompted escape responding (head entry into a hole). Unsignaled avoidance contingencies were not effective, but pre-pulse signaling of light supported avoidance behavior. These results demonstrate a possible alternative to foot-shock, one with greater ecological validity, and one that might avoid some of the physiological effects that accompany electric shock.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Light aversion