Rats were trained to run in an alley for food reward given on every trial (continuous reinforcement, CR) or on a random 50% of trials (partial reinforcement, PR) and were then extinguished. Sham-operated controls showed the usual partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE), i.e., PR-trained animals were more resistant to extinction than CR-trained animals. The PREE was abolished by hippocampectomy, which increased resistance to extinction in CR-trained rats and decreased it in PR-trained rats. Bilateral fimbria section had no effect on resistance to extinction in either condition. These results are discussed in the light of theories of hippocampal function and the anatomy of septohippocampal connections.
- Partial reinforcement extinction effect