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J Exp Anal Behav. Sep 1979; 32(2): 233–244.
PMCID: PMC1332898

Concurrent schedules: undermatching and control by previous experimental conditions.

Abstract

Five pigeons were trained on concurrent variable-interval schedules. A series of conditions in which the ratio of reinforcement rates on two keys was progressively increased and then decreased was arranged twice. The birds were then exposed to an irregular sequence of conditions. Each condition in which reinforcement was available on both keys lasted six sessions. Performance in the first, third, and sixth sessions after a condition change was analyzed. Following a condition change, preference was biased toward the preference in the last condition, but this effect largely disappeared before the sixth session of training. The birds' preferences also appeared less sensitive to reinforcement rates in early sessions after a transition. Preference in a session was a function of both the reinforcements in that session and the reinforcements obtained in as many as four or five previous sessions. The effects of reinforcements in previous sessions could be summarized by the performance in the immediately preceding session, giving a relatively simple relation between present performance and a combination of present reinforcement and prior session performance. While such hysteresis could cause undermatching when only a small number of sessions are arranged in a condition, undermatching in a stable-state performance probably arises elsewhere.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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