Alan Silberberg

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The strength of a rat's eating reflex correlates with hunger level when strength is measured by the response frequency that precedes eating (B. F. Skinner, 1932a, 1932b). On the basis of this finding, Skinner argued response frequency could index reflex strength. Subsequent work documented difficulties with this notion because responding was affected not(More)
To provide a prospective test of the predictive adequacy of the exponential model of demand (Hursh and Silberberg, Psych Rev 115(1):186–198, 2008). In Experiment 1, to measure the ‘essential value’ (the propensity to defend consumption with changes in price) of cocaine and food in a demand analysis (functional relation between price and consumption) by(More)
Each of 4 female capuchin monkeys ("model") was paired with another female capuchin ("witness") in an adjacent cage. In Phases 1 and 3, a model could remove a grape from the experimenter's hand while the witness watched. The witness was then offered a slice of cucumber, a less preferred food. Trials alternated between subjects 50 times, defining a session.(More)
When reinterpreted, data from Ahmed and Koob [Ahmed, S.H., Koob, G.F., Transition from moderate to excessive drug intake: Change in hedonic set point. Science 1998; 282:298-301.] show that the reinforcing strength of cocaine, an inessential good, increases with experience. However, no such effect obtains with a homeostatically regulated good such as food.(More)
To assess olfactory matching-to-sample learning, rats were exposed to two odors separated by a 1-s presentation of clean air. If, and only if, the odors were identical, a response produced a water reinforcer. High levels of performance were maintained over a series of 10 novel three-odor matching-to-sample problems on this conditional go/no-go(More)
Brosnan and de Waal (Nature 425:297–299, 2003) reported that if a witness monkey saw a model monkey receive a high-value food, the witness was more inclined to reject a previously acceptable, but low-value food. Later work demonstrated that this alleged inequity aversion might be due to frustration induced by switching subjects from their role as models(More)
In the human mini-ultimatum game, a proposer splits a sum of money with a responder. If the responder accepts, both are paid. If not, neither is paid. Typically, responders reject inequitable distributions, favoring punishing over maximizing. In Jensen et al.’s (Science 318:107–109, 2007) adaptation with apes, a proposer selects between two distributions of(More)
In 5 experiments, 4 monkeys and 1 ape chose between 2 food sources, each held in 1 of the experimenter's hands while he stood in front of a cage. When choosing between 2 sources of the same food that differed in amount, preference for the larger amount decreased as the size of each good proportionately increased. A second finding was that subjects were(More)
Ben-Ami Bartal et al. (Science 334:1427–1430, 2011) showed that a rat in an open space (free rat) would touch the front door of a restraining tube to open its rear door, thereby enabling a rat trapped within (trapped rat) to enter a larger space that was farther away from the free rat. Since opening the rear door distanced the trapped rat from the free rat,(More)