Reinforcer magnitude affects delay discounting and influences effects of d-amphetamine in rats

Christopher A. Krebs, William J. Reilly, Karen G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Impulsive choice in humans can be altered by changing reinforcer magnitude; however, this effect has not been found in rats. Current levels of impulsive choice can also influence effects of d-amphetamine. This study used a within-subject assessment to determine if impulsive choice is sensitive to changes in reinforcer magnitude, and whether effects of d-amphetamine are related to current levels of impulsive choice. A discounting procedure in which choice was for a smaller reinforcer available immediately or a larger reinforcer available after a delay that increased within session was used. Reinforcer magnitude was manipulated between conditions and impulsive choice was quantified using area under the curve (AUC). In the Smaller-Magnitude (SM) Condition, choice was between one food pellet and three food pellets. In the Larger-Magnitude (LM) Condition, choice was between two food pellets and six food pellets. Impulsive choice was greater in the SM Condition compared to the LM Condition. Further, effects of d-amphetamine (0.1–1.8 mg/kg) were related to differences in impulsive choice. d-Amphetamine increased impulsive choice in the LM Condition, but had no effect on impulsive choice in the SM Condition. Overall, these results show that impulsive choice in rats is sensitive to changes in reinforcer magnitude, and that effects of d-amphetamine are influenced by current levels of impulsive choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Processes
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Choice
  • d-Amphetamine
  • Delay discounting
  • Impulsivity
  • Rat
  • Reinforcer magnitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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