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The Effect of Overtraining on Motivated Behavior in Fire-Bellied Toads

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Title: The Effect of Overtraining on Motivated Behavior in Fire-Bellied Toads
Author: Gallagher, Nicola
Department: Department of Integrative Biology
Program: Integrative Biology
Advisor: Laberge, Frederic
Abstract: The conditioned prey catching response becomes resistant to extinction after overtraining in the fire-bellied toad. Three possible cognitive mechanisms are proposed to explain persistent prey catching: habit formation, response perseveration and conditioned motivation. This thesis will focus on two of these possible mechanisms: response perseveration and conditioned motivation. In chapter one, reversal learning was used in order to observe how overtraining affected response perseveration. The results showed that overtraining did not modify reversal learning performance. In chapter two, the effect of overtraining on motivation was measured to observe the amount of effort toads were willing to exert to obtain food rewards. There was no significant difference in motivation found between short and long training groups of toads, indicating that overtraining had no impact on motivation to obtain food. Overall, overtraining has no effect on response perseveration or on conditioned motivation in the fire-bellied toad.
Description: All documents submitted on September 17th, at approximately 4:30 pm
Date: 2015-07
Rights: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
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Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada