The Effects of
Learned Helplessness on Stress in Rats as it Relates to Voluntary
Consumption in a Non-contingent, Appetitive Situation
By: Lindsay Cotterly
Little work has been done to examine the effects of stress on voluntary alcohol consumption in rats. The present study utilized eight rats, which were trained to bar press on an FR1 schedule of reinforcement. They were then put on a VI30 schedule of reinforcement followed by a FT60 schedule of reinforcement. Alcohol consumption was measured over a 24 hour time period following each session of reinforcement. The next phase was the extinction phase, during which time no reinforcement was given and alcohol consumption was measured. The results show that as a model of learned helplessness in an appetitive situation was established, through non-contingent delivery of food followed by a period of no reinforcement alcohol consumption increased.