Biological Determinants of Reinforcement - Vol. 7

By Michael L. Commons; Russell M. Church et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Following the discovery of brain-stimulation reward by Olds and Milner ( 1954),1 physiological psychology began to focus on relationships between the physiological aspects and psychological aspects of reinforcement. Activity centered on phenomena such as the similarities and dissimilarities between brain reward and natural reward (e.g., food or water), including the curious lack of satiety observed in responding for brain stimulation. Although occasional studies used psychophysical techniques to study reward in the 1960s or earlier, it was not until the later 1970s that quantitative studies were reported in large numbers. Now, much of the work in this field is based on psychophysical methods that characterize the brain substrate stimulated by the electrode, and more clearly separate motor/performance from reward factors enabling drug and other physiological work to proceed. The chapters in this volume reflect this interest in and dependence on psychophysical measurement.

The volumes in this annual series, Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, have been written for behavioral scientists. Each volume examines a particular topic that has been discussed at the "Symposium on Quantitative Analyses of Behavior" held annually, since 1978, at Harvard University.

The present volume (Volume VII) examines biological determinants of reinforcement. Volume VIII will focus on pattern recognition and concept formation in animals, people, and machines. Volume IX will concentrate on economic

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1
Data taken from Olds J., & Milner P. M. ( 1954). "Positive reinforcement produced by electrical stimulation of septal area and other regions of rat brain". Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 47, 419-427.

-xvii-

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