About SecondOrder

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Second-order schedules of reinforcement.


In a second-order schedule of reinforcement, the subject must complete a certain simple schedule (fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable ratio, etc.) to obtain a stimulus. It works on a higher (second-order) schedule for the actual reinforcer; for example, it might obtain a stimulus+drug compound once it has earned five stimuli.


The SecondOrder client is designed to use a {left lever, right lever, nosepoke} response to earn stimuli on an {FR, FI, VR} schedule, and earn reinforcement from a {liquid dipper, infusion pump}on a second-order {FR, FI, VR} schedule. It records all responses, and also records locomotor activity. The schedule, stimulus and reinforcement parameters are all configurable.


(IVSA; intravenous self-administration.)


Software requirements


Requires Whisker v2.0 or greater.


Data storage


Text-based output to disk.
ODBC data storage to a database (supplied).




Rudolf Cardinal (rudolf@pobox.com).




Copyright © Cambridge University Technical Services Ltd


Sample publication using this form of task


Arroyo M, Markou A, Robbins TW & Everitt BJ (1998). Acquisition, maintenance and reinstatement of intravenous cocaine self-administration under a second-order  schedule of reinforcement in rats: effects of conditioned cues and continuous access to cocaine. Psychopharmacology 140: 331–344. [Original article, with references to earlier work using second-order schedules.]


Version history


See www.whiskercontrol.com/version_tracker/SecondOrder.txt