Title

Behavioral Pharmacology and Timing

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Behavioural Processes

Volume

57

Issue

2-3

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

2002

First Page

107

Last Page

120

DOI

10.1016/S0376-6357(02)00008-6

Abstract

Drug effects on temporally patterned behavior are often described under the rubric of rate dependency: the effect of a drug on behavior is related to the rate of behavior in the absence of the drug. Specifically, drugs increase low rate behavior and decrease high rate behavior. These same types of effects are interpreted in the timing literature, however, as selective changes in temporal discrimination. The present series of experiments arrange situations that allow divergent predictions based on the two interpretations. In one component of a multiple schedule, when the response key is lit blue, food is available after the houselight is presented for a short duration (5 s). In the other component of the multiple schedule, when the response key is lit green, food is available after the houselight is presented for a long duration (30 s). No food is available after intermediate durations. Specific focus is given to a neuropharmacological information-processing model of timing. Predictions were compared for drugs that are thought to affect the clock and memory stages in the model. The results do not generally lend support for the neuropharmacological interpretation of the scalar expectancy theory, but emphasize the need for an explanatory mechanism that is consistent with the empirical generalization of rate dependency.

Comments

Originally published by Elsevier. Publisher's PDF and HTML fulltext available through remote link.

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