Siamese fighting fish Aquariums

January 28, 2017
Rare Yellow Fuzzy Dwarf

Operant conditioning with Betta splendens (Bettas) has been investigated extensively using males of the species. Etiological studies of female Bettas have revealed aggressive interactions that qualitatively parallel those between male Bettas. Given these similarities, four experiments were conducted with female Bettas to examine the generality of a widely reported finding with males: mirror-image reinforcement. Swimming through a ring was reinforced by a 10-s mirror presentation. As with males, ring swimming was acquired and maintained when mirror presentations were immediate (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) and delayed (Experiment 4). The failure of conventional extinction (Experiments 1 and 2) and response-independent mirror presentations (Experiment 3) to maintain responding confirmed the reinforcing properties of mirror presentation. These results extend previous findings of mirror images as reinforcers in males of the same species and illustrate a complementarity between behavioral ecology and the experimental analysis of behavior.

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