Essay On Resurgence

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We are running an experiment using pigeons that will teach us about resurgence after extinction. Previous studies, such as Leitenberg et. al (Leitenberg et. al, 1970), have shown that it is possible for a behaviour that has been previously extinguished to have a sudden resurgence and become prevalent again. Podlesnik et. al, (Podlesnik et. al, 2006) attempted to re-create this experiment, and found the same results, the rats relapsed and returned to their previously extinct behaviour.
The intended outcome of this study is resurgence, this means that we are looking for a behaviour that has been previously extinct. A real-world example of this would be when a drug addict goes to rehab they are no longer doing drugs so the first behaviour, drugs, has been extinct and replaced by an alternate behaviour, therapy. Then once they get out they are no longer performing the alternate behaviour, they go back to the extinct behaviour.
Leitenberg and Podlesnik used rats, and like us, Leitenberg used food as a reinforcer, whereas Podlesnik used alcohol. Also unlike us they used only two
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In condition two, the first behaviour was put on extinction, that key no longer produced reinforcers no matter how many times it was pecked, and at the same time a new VI 30s schedule was trained on a different key. For condition three, the second VI 30s schedule was put on extinction and a third VI 30s schedule was introduced, again on a different key. Also during condition three, responses on the key used for condition one were closely monitored as it is during this condition that we are watching for any resurgence on the key where the first condition took place. For the fourth and final condition, all reinforced behaviours are put on extinction, and as well as watching for resurgence from condition one, we are now also looking for resurgence on condition

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