Temporal control on interval schedules: what determines the postreinforcement pause?
On fixed-interval or response-initiated delay schedules of reinforcement, the average pause following food presentation is proportional to the interfood interval. Moreover, when a number of intervals of different durations occur in a programmed cyclic series, postreinforcement pauses track the changes in interval value. What controls the duration of postreinforcement pauses under these conditions? Staddon, Wynne, and Higa (1991), in their linear waiting model, propose control by the preceding interfood interval. Another possibility is that delay to reinforcement, signaled by a key peck and/or stimulus change, determines the subsequent pause. The experiments reported here examined the role of these two possible time markers by studying the performance of pigeons under a chained cyclic fixed-interval procedure. The data support the linear waiting model, but suggest that more than the immediately preceding interfood interval plays a role in temporal control.
Innis, NK; Mitchell, SK; Staddon, JE
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