Within-session meal-size effects on induced drinking.
As a control for the effects of session duration and hunger on the relation between food magnitude and induced drinking, four food-deprived rats were exposed to a variable-time 50-s schedule of food delivery in which the size of each food delivery varied randomly within sessions. Food-related behavior and schedule-induced drinking per opportunity were examined as functions of meal size and postfood time. All rats showed an inverted-U-shaped relation between drinking per opportunity and meal size. This relation was caused by variation in the percentage of intervals that contained drinking and by variation in the number of drinking bouts per interval, rather than by bout duration or by the amount of drinking within those intervals that actually contained drinking. Head-in-feeder time increased linearly with meal size. Schedule-induced drinking was entrained by food delivery in 3 of 4 subjects; the entrainment was due to regulation of the starting time of each drinking bout rather than to regulation of bout duration.
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