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Behav Processes. 2007 Feb 22;74(2):176-86. Epub 2006 Sep 6.

Differential effects of empty and filled intervals on duration estimation by pigeons: tests of an attention-sharing explanation.

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1
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3C5. asanti@wlu.ca

Abstract

Pigeons were trained in a within-subjects design to discriminate durations of an empty interval and a filled interval. Even when different stimuli were used to mark empty intervals and to signal filled intervals, pigeons judged empty intervals to be longer than equal-length filled intervals. This timing difference was not a result of pigeons timing marker duration on empty interval trials. Increasing marker duration did not produce an overestimation of the empty time intervals. It was suggested that this timing difference could be due to a reduction in attention to temporal processing on filled interval trials when visual stimuli are used. Consistent with this hypothesis, it was found that empty intervals were judged longer than filled intervals when testing occurred in a darkened test room, but not when the test room was illuminated. In addition, no timing difference was observed when different auditory stimuli were used as markers for empty intervals and as signals for filled intervals.

PMID:
17014969
DOI:
10.1016/j.beproc.2006.08.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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