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Water deprivation during inescapable shock exposure and a shuttle escape test 24 hours later (Experiment 1), during shuttle escape training only (Experiment 2), or during inescapable shock exposure only (Experiment 3a), ameliorated the shock-escape impairment normally seen following exposure to inescapable shock. The results of Experiments 1 and 2 could be attributed to increased activity produced by water deprivation during the shuttlebox test. However, the results of Experiment 3a suggest that water deprivation during inescapable shock exposure can eliminate the shock-escape impairment in a shuttlebox test 24 hours later. These results are discussed in relation to the motivational deficit predicted by learned helplessness theory.