Temporal integration in duration and number discrimination.
Temporal integration in duration and number discrimination by rats was investigated with the use of a psychophysical choice procedure. A response on one lever ("short" response) following a 1-s white-noise signal was followed by food reinforcement, and a response on the other lever ("long" response) following a 2-s white-noise signal was also followed by food reinforcement. Either response following a signal of one of five intermediate durations was unreinforced. This led to a psychophysical function in which the probability of a long response was related to signal duration in an ogival manner. On 2 test days, a white-noise signal with 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10 segments of either 0.5-s on and 0.5-s off or 1-s on and 1-s off was presented, and a choice response following these signals was unreinforced. The probability of a long response was the same function of a segmented signal and a continuous signal if each segment was considered equivalent to 200 ms. A quantitative fit of a scalar estimation theory suggested that the latencies to initiate temporal integration and to terminate the process are both about 200 ms, and that the same internal accumulation process can be used for counting and timing.
Meck, WH; Church, RM; Gibbon, J
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