Abstract:Excessive checking is reported in non-clinical populations and is a pervasive symptom in
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). We implemented a free-operant task in humans,
previously used in rats, wherein participants can “check” to reduce uncertainty.
Participants can press an observing key to ascertain which of two main keys will, if
pressed, currently lead to rewards. Over a series of experiments, we found that punishment
robustly increased observing in non-clinical participants and that observing persisted…
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