More troll control

[From Bruce Abbott (960716.2005 EST)]

O.K., seven hours and no bites on my "troll" post. Second verse, same as
the first:

A rat can avoid receiving unpleasant footshocks by pressing a lever within
less than 20 seconds of the previous response or shock (Each response resets
the time-to-next-shock to 20 seconds, after which the timer begins
down-counting.) After considerable practice at this task, the rat become so
efficient that it never receives a shock. In fact, I can disconnect the
shocker and put it in the closet, and the rat will continue to press that
lever every few seconds.

Obviously the rat is controlling its perception of receiving shock to zero.
But what kind of control is it? The "standard" PCT kind? Model-based?
Something else?

Regards,

Bruce

<[Bill Leach (960717.1433)]

[From Bruce Abbott (960716.2005 EST)]

O.K., seven hours and no bites on my "troll" post. Second verse, same as
the first:

But i did bite!

A rat can avoid receiving unpleasant footshocks by pressing a lever within ...

Obviously the rat is controlling its perception of receiving shock to zero.
But what kind of control is it? The "standard" PCT kind? Model-based?
Something else?

I still maintain that it is model based control but my conception of model
based control might not quite match up with anyone elses. To me, the "hoops"
that digital computer types jump through to create models has nothing to do
with whether a control method is model based or not. The fact is that we
don't modify the hardware of our computers to model the "world".

If the rat only pressed the lever following the receipt of a shock we would
have a "normal" PCT control situation (that looks very much like a
stimulas-response situation). However, the rat creates a control loop that
sets a reference for pressing the lever periodically (appearently). If such
a system exists, a reference for "receiving no shocks" would not itself
create an error signal to set a reference for perceiving the lever being
pressed if shocks were not received.

Some, I think, interesting questions:

1. Will the rats continue the lever pressing operations if the rat and
lever are moved to a different environment?

2. If changes are made to the existing environment will the rat continue to
press the lever?

3. If there are two levers and one delivers food, will the rat press the
shock lever regularly but press the food lever for some food intake rate?

bill leach
b.leach@worldnet.att.net
ars KB7LX