Disruptive effects of stimulus intensity on two variations of a temporal discrimination procedure.

Erin A. McClure, Kathryn A. Saulsgiver, Clive Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Previous reports using stimulus intensity changes to disrupt temporal discrimination have shown shifts in the psychophysical curve for time, while studies using other disruptors have shown a flattening of the curve. The current study investigated the impact of increases and decreases in stimulus intensity on temporal discrimination in pigeons, to determine if a flattening of the curve could be extended to this disruptor. The brightness of the sample to be timed was manipulated under two procedural variations, in which the response alternatives were differentiated by color or location. Results showed that all subjects in the color procedure, and one in the location procedure, showed a flattening of the psychophysical curve when they experienced increased stimulus intensity in descending order. No subjects exposed to an ascending order of stimulus intensities, and none of the other subjects in the location procedure, showed any impact of changed stimulus intensity. Minimal disruption was found when test sessions presented decreased stimulus intensity levels in a second series. These results, together with those using other types of disruptors, add to the evidence of a flattening of the psychophysical curve when temporal discrimination is disrupted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Volume94
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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