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Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

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Abstract/ Summary

Pigeons responded under a combination brief-stimulus schedule and choice procedure. Normally, a fixed-interval schedule was in effect, where completion randomly produced either a brief stimulus or food. Intermittently, this schedule was interrupted by a choice arrangement. Two choice keys were lit, either a short or a long time since a prior event (food or stimulus). One choice response produced food if the time had been short, and the alternate response produced food if the time had been long. Across conditions, the duration of the fixed-interval schedule was varied, the stimuli that comprised the brief-stimulus operation were changed, and the stimuli were presented as paired and nonpaired with food. The focus of the study was the control of both schedule performance and choice responding across conditions. The results showed that choice accuracy was correlated with the degree of fixed-interval curvature, the response pattern of a pause followed by a gradually accelerated rate. As fixed-interval schedule duration was increased, both the degree of fixed interval curvature and choice accuracy decreased. The particular brief stimulus used affected schedule and choice performance, with a more salient stimulus producing a greater degree of curvature and higher accuracy. Pairing and non-pairing operations produced striking differences in performance with the less salient brief stimulus, but not with the more salient stimulus. The results suggest that brief-stimulus schedule performance may be conceptualized in the context of memory research.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Stubbs, D. A., Vautin, S. J., Reid, H. M., & Delehanty, D. L. (1978). Discriminative functions of schedule stimuli and memory: a combination of schedule and choice procedures. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 29(2), 167–180.




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