John E. R. Staddon

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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)
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)
Anticipation of periodic events signalled by a time marker, or interval timing, has been explained by a separate pacemaker-counter clock. However, recent research has added support to an older idea: that memory strength can act as a clock. The way that memory strength decreases with time can be inferred from the properties of habituation, and the underlying(More)
Pigeons and other animals soon learn to wait (pause) after food delivery on periodic-food schedules before resuming the food-rewarded response. Under most conditions the steady-state duration of the average waiting time, t, is a linear function of the typical interfood interval. We describe three experiments designed to explore the limits of this process.(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)
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)
  • J E Staddon
  • Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1977
In 1970, Herrnstein proposed a simple equation to describe the relation between response and reinforcement rates on interval schedules. Its empirical basis is firm, but its theoretical foundation is still uncertain. Two approaches to the derivation of Herrnstein's equation are discussed. It can be derived as the equilibrium solution to a process model(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)