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A popular view of interval timing in animals is that it is driven by a discrete pacemaker-accumulator mechanism that yields a linear scale for encoded time. But these mechanisms are fundamentally at odds with the Weber law property of interval timing, and experiments that support linear encoded time can be interpreted in other ways. We argue that the(More)
The authors propose a simple behavioral economic model (BEM) describing how reinforcement and interval timing interact. The model assumes a Weber-law-compliant logarithmic representation of time. Associated with each represented time value are the payoffs that have been obtained for each possible response. At a given real time, the response with the highest(More)
Female cowbirds (Molothrus ater ater), maintained in isolation from males during the breeding season, respond to the playback of male song with copulatory postures. They respond to some songs more than to others. Cowbird song potency can thus be operationally defined by the proportion of copulatory postures a song elicits across multiple playbacks. The(More)
Habituation is the waning of a reflex response to repeated stimulation. Habituation to closely spaced stimuli is faster and more complete than to widely spaced stimuli, but recovery is also more rapid (rate sensitivity). We show that a 2-unit, cascaded-integrator dynamic model can explain in detail an extensive data set on rate-sensitive habituation in the(More)
Two experiments used response-initiated delay schedules to test the idea that when food reinforcement is available at regular intervals, the time an animal waits before its first operant response (waiting time) is proportional to the immediately preceding interfood interval (linear waiting; Wynne & Staddon, 1988). In Experiment 1 the interfood intervals(More)
EXPERIMENTS WITH PIGEONS AND RATS SHOWED THAT: (1) When a brief blackout was presented in lieu of reinforcement at the end of 25% of intervals on a fixed-interval 2-min schedule, response rate was reliably and persistently higher during the following 2-min intervals (omission effect). This effect was largely due to a decrease in time to first response after(More)
Research on animal metacognition has typically used choice discriminations whose difficulty can be varied. Animals are given some opportunity to escape the discrimination task by emitting a so-called uncertain response. The usual claim is that an animal possesses metacognition if (a) the probability of picking the uncertain response increases with task(More)
In simple situations, animals consistently choose the better of two alternatives. On concurrent variable-interval variable-interval and variable-interval variable-ratio schedules, they approximately match aggregate choice and reinforcement ratios. The matching law attempts to explain the latter result but does not address the former. Hill-climbing rules(More)
Existing models of operant learning are relatively insensitive to historical properties of behavior and applicable to only limited data sets. This article proposes a minimal set of principles based on short-term and long-term memory mechanisms that can explain the major static and dynamic properties of operant behavior in both single-choice and(More)
Pigeons tracked sinusoidal sequences of interfood intervals (IFIs) by pausing in each interval for a time proportional to the preceding interval. Schedules with either long (30-90 s) or short (5-15 s) values, with variable numbers of cycles and starting phase each day, were tracked about equally well. Tracking was apparently immediate and did not improve(More)