Assessing the Reliability of a Novel Procedure to Measure Impulsivity and Self-Control in Rats
Lagorio, Carla H.
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Choice outcomes are discounted by imposed delays. This effect, termed delay discounting, is often demonstrated by a higher choice preference for a smaller reinforcer amount delivered sooner, rather than a larger amount delivered after a longer delay. Degree of delay discounting has been correlated with behaviors exhibited by traditionally impulsive populations, including substance abusers and problem gamblers. Additionally, neural mechanisms involved in choices between delayed outcomes has attracted much attention in recent years. One limiting factor in assessing discounting is that quantitative determinations of an individual’s degree of impulsivity can be quite time consuming. Despite this, few studies have investigated new procedures that could attain a reliable discounting measure in a shorter period. The current study assessed the reliability of a novel delay discounting procedure, which our lab has designed to assess choice behavior in approximately one week. If this new method produces orderly and reliable results, it will be beneficial for use in future discounting research.
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