A tuned-trace theory of interval-timing dynamics.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Animals on interval schedules of reinforcement can rapidly adjust a temporal dependent variable, such as wait time, to changes in the prevailing interreinforcement interval. We describe data on the effects of impulse, step, sine-cyclic, and variable-interval schedules and show that they can be explained by a tuned-trace timing model with a one-back threshold-setting rule. The model can also explain steady-state timing properties such as proportional and Weber law timing and the effects of reinforcement magnitude. The model assumes that food reinforcers and other time markers have a decaying effect (trace) with properties that can be derived from the rate-sensitive property of habituation (the multiple-time-scale model). In timing experiments, response threshold is determined by the trace value at the time of the most recent reinforcement. The model provides a partial account for the learning of multiple intervals, but does not account for scalloping and other postpause features of responding on interval schedules and has some problems with square-wave schedules.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Staddon, JER; Chelaru, IM; Higa, JJ

Published Date

  • January 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 105 - 124

PubMed ID

  • 11859841

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1284850

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-3711

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-5002

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1901/jeab.2002.77-105


  • eng