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Behav Processes. 2009 Sep;82(1):85-9. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 Apr 1.

Manipulating pre-feed, density of reinforcement, and extinction produces disruption in the Location variation of a temporal discrimination task in pigeons.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


When pharmacological and non-pharmacological agents are used to disrupt temporal discrimination, two major findings have emerged in the literature. One result reveals lateral shifts of the psychophysical curve for time due to disruptors, while the other is a decrease in accuracy for classifying short and long intervals and a flattening of the psychophysical curve. These results represent a discrepancy within the timing literature that requires clarification. The current study determined the effects of pre-feed, increased density of reinforcement during session, and extinction on the Location variation of a temporal discrimination procedure. The results showed that extinction and pre-feed (at higher levels), when presented in an acute fashion, led to right-ward shifts in the psychophysical curve. Our results, when compared to similar studies in the literature, suggest that lateral shifts are more likely to be found due to disruptors when the Location variation is being used and when procedures are less complicated.

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