A trial-by-trial, subject-by-subject analysis was conducted to determine whether generation of the conditioned response (CR) occurs on a continuous or all-or-none basis. Three groups of rabbits were trained on different partial reinforcement schedules with the conditioned stimulus presented alone on 10%, 30%, or 50%, respectively, of all trials. Plots of each rabbit's nictitating membrane movements revealed that their magnitude rose in a continuous fashion. Response growth during acquisition followed a sigmoidal curve, and the timing of CR-sized movements was largely stable throughout the experiment. The results are discussed with respect to alternative models of CR generation.
- partial reinforcement