Immediacy versus anticipated delay in the time-left experiment: a test of the cognitive hypothesis.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

In the time-left experiment (J. Gibbon & R. M. Church, 1981), animals are said to compare an expectation of a fixed delay to food, for one choice, with a decreasing delay expectation for the other, mentally representing both upcoming time to food and the difference between current time and upcoming time (the cognitive hypothesis). The results of 2 experiments support a simpler view: that animals choose according to the immediacies of reinforcement for each response at a time signaled by available time markers (the temporal control hypothesis). It is not necessary to assume that animals can either represent or subtract representations of times to food to explain the results of the time-left experiment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cerutti, DT; Staddon, JER

Published Date

  • January 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 45 - 57

PubMed ID

  • 14709114

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1470760

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2184

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0097-7403

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0097-7403.30.1.45


  • eng