Effects of prefeeding, intercomponent-interval food, and extinction on temporal discrimination and pacemaker rate
This experiment investigated the effects of nonpharmacological disruption on temporal discrimination. Pigeons responded on a multiple schedule composed of fixed interval, color-matching, and temporal-discrimination components. The effects of three different disruptors (prefeeding, intercomponent-interval food, and extinction) were assessed. All disruptors decreased response rates during the fixed interval. Prefeeding and intercomponent-interval food had unsystematic effects on response patterning during the fixed interval, whereas extinction increased the relative response rate in the initial portions of the fixed interval. Accuracy of color matching was decreased by prefeeding and was not systematically affected by intercomponent-interval food and extinction. In the temporal-discrimination component, all disruptors flattened the psychophysical functions relating proportion long responses to sample duration. This result indicates a general disruption of temporal discrimination. In addition, parameter estimates derived from the behavioral theory of timing indicated all disruptors decreased pacemaker rate, a result consistent with the predictions of the theory. These results highlight the similarities between disruption of temporal discrimination by pharmacological and nonpharmacological manipulations.
Ward, R. D., & Odum, A. L. (2006). Effects of prefeeding, intercomponent-interval food, and extinction on temporal discrimination and pacemaker rate. Behavioural Processes, 71, 297-306.