Virtual rat training + answer lab questions
- Describe the first training session, including the following:
- Were you able to successfully train Sniffy to press the bar?
During the first training session I was able to train Sniffy to press the bar. Sniffy seemed to understand that there was an association between the sound and food, but was slow in learning to press the bar.
- How long did it take to fully establish Sniffy’s behaviour?
It took me thirty seven minutes of training, to fully establish Sniffy’s behaviour.
- In first trying to establish the sound-food association during magazine training, what behaviours did you reinforce and what behaviours did you not reinforce?
During the magazine training session, I reinforced an association between sound and availability of food. The aim of magazine training was to ensure that Sniffy associated the sound with the presence of food in the hopper. This was in order to turn Sniffy’s neutral stimulus into a secondary stimulus that would be triggered by the sound of the hopper. I did not reinforce pressing the bar with the presence of food. The first thing in wanted to concentrate on, was to have Sniffy associate the sound with the presence of food pellets. This entailed providing pellets of food whenever the sound went off. This would then give Sniffy a chance to associate the sound and food.
- How did you get Sniffy to approach the bar?
I got Sniffy to approach the bar by pressing the hopper when Sniffy was near the food. This was in an effort to increase Sniffy’s association between the bar and the food. Every time Sniffy was near the bar, I would press the hopper, which in turn would drop food pellets on the hopper. This way, Sniffy would associate the sound of the hopper with food pellets.
- How did you get Sniffy to press the bar?
I got sniffy to press the bar by reinforcing the sound of the hopper and the food dispenser. This increased Sniffy’s association between the sound of the hopper and the food. I set the bar to dispense the food when Sniffy is around the hopper. This way, Sniffy learnt to associate the hopper and the food. Every time Sniffy was near the bar, the hopper would produce sound, which in turn would trigger the bar to dispense food. Whenever the bar went off, food pellets would fall, hence sniffy would then know that pressing the bar would result in the sound, which in turn would make food pellets drop.
- Why were you required to first train Sniffy to associate the sounds of the magazine dispenser with food? What is the benefit of having the sound as a secondary reinforcer?
During the first magazine training, I reinforced the use of a hopper sound near the food. This aimed at increasing Sniffy’s association with food. I did not reinforce the association between food and pressing the bar immediately
- Describe the second training session. Between the first and second time you ran the program, did you seem to improve at getting Sniffy to bar press? What evidence was there to support this?
The second training session was smooth as compared to the first training session. During this time, Sniffy had some idea of what he was expected to do. Unlike the first session when he was not sure what everything was all about, Sniffy knew that food has an association with the sound that came from or around the hopper. During the first training session, Sniffy would go near the hopper and sit there waiting for the sound to go off, and see food pellets falling. However, during the second training, it was evident that he knew that something had to be done to make the sound then wait for the food pellets.
This was evident from the interest Sniffy showed on the bar and the food pellets whenever they fell. The interest it developed in the bar whenever it went off showed that it had come to associate sound with the food it got. Learning to press the bar was also a key proof of showing that it had leanrt to associate sound with food. The increasing number of times it pressed the bar also shows that Sniffy was now trained on the association of food and pressing the bar. It had leanrt to press the bar for the food pellets to fall.
Cumulative records from the second training session
- Whether you realized it or not, while you were attempting to shape the Sniffy’s behaviour, your behaviour was also being shaped. Explain how your behaviour was being shaped while doing this task. What behaviour(s) increased in the second training session? What was the reinforcer shaping your behaviour?
During the training sessions, i realized that my overall overview of the whole process was changing with each passing minute of training Sniffy. I realized that in was developing more patients than in usually have before. I realized that I was becoming keen with each passing second. This entailed identifying different cues that would give me posted on the progress of Sniffy on the training in was giving him. I came to realize that it has to be keen on what was happening in order to train Sniffy properly. This required total concentration on what in was doing. Doing this repeatedly, just like sniffy was doing with the help of reinforces helped me pick the important cues that would make the training sessions a success. This helped me understand the importance of repetition when doing a process. It changed my perception of repeating something time and again, as the brain reacts to the stimulus by making it a secondary factor, rather than a neutral stimulus.
With time, I was able to reinforce different behaviours just lie Sniffy was doing with every passing second. Every time, I would act in a manner that resembled what was required of me. This was particularly applicable during the second training session. The first session was like an eye opener where the brain was grasping the details of the training session. The second session was easier to conduct as I knew what to expect when something happened than it was during the first session. This made it easier to act on cue.
I also experienced the feeling of frustration during the initial process of training Sniffy. Every time he would go near the bar, and not do anything to press it would mark a point of pure frustration on my part. It was a problem to spend a lot of time watching it enjoy the food pellets without associating it with the sound from the hopper. However, my behaviour changed with the new behaviours it was adapting. I was highly satisfied with the progress of Sniffy when it began showing interest in the hopper and going near it. When it began pressing the bar, I realised that I was overjoyed and understood the frustration it went through as it tried to associate food with the hopper and the sound. The reinforcer shaping my behaviour was the sound that was like a trigger to remind me of the cues I had to take to make things work perfectly as expected.