Retention and delayed extinction of an instrumental task in the toad Rhinella arenarum. Effect of the overtraining
Amphibians and mammals share common basic mechanisms for associative learning. However, it has been observed that certain reinforcement paradigms produce opposite results. For example, increasing the number of reinforced trials during acquisition (Overtraining) improves mammals’ extinction and impairs amphibians’. The present study evaluates in toads, the effect of overtraining on response retention after 8 days without training. Two groups of animals were trained in a runway receiving 5 or 15 acquisition trials respectively. After acquisition ended, each group remained 8 days without training and then received 8 extinction trials. Differences were not observed in the spontaneous decay rate. Since it had previously observed that using the same parameters in the acquisition leads to a faster extinction in the 5 days group, it is consider the idea that mechanisms underlying extinction and spontaneous decay differs.