Interval timing under a behavioral microscope: Dissociating motivational and timing processes in fixed-interval performance

Carter W. Daniels, Federico Sanabria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The distribution of latencies and interresponse times (IRTs) of rats was compared between two fixed-interval (FI) schedules of food reinforcement (FI 30 s and FI 90 s), and between two levels of food deprivation. Computational modeling revealed that latencies and IRTs were well described by mixture probability distributions embodying two-state Markov chains. Analysis of these models revealed that only a subset of latencies is sensitive to the periodicity of reinforcement, and prefeeding only reduces the size of this subset. The distribution of IRTs suggests that behavior in FI schedules is organized in bouts that lengthen and ramp up in frequency with proximity to reinforcement. Prefeeding slowed down the lengthening of bouts and increased the time between bouts. When concatenated, latency and IRT models adequately reproduced sigmoidal FI response functions. These findings suggest that behavior in FI schedules fluctuates in and out of schedule control; an account of such fluctuation suggests that timing and motivation are dissociable components of FI performance. These mixture-distribution models also provide novel insights on the motivational, associative, and timing processes expressed in FI performance. These processes may be obscured, however, when performance in timing tasks is analyzed in terms of mean response rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalLearning and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 21 2016

Fingerprint

Appointments and Schedules
Reinforcement Schedule
Food Deprivation
Markov Chains
Architectural Accessibility
Periodicity
Motivation
Interval Timing
Microscope
Food
Latency
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Reinforcement

Keywords

  • Bouts
  • Computational modeling
  • Fixed-interval
  • Interval timing
  • Motivation
  • Pre-feeding
  • Rats
  • Response duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

@article{2e2c6f04511a4fb1bcdefc72ed367f4f,
title = "Interval timing under a behavioral microscope: Dissociating motivational and timing processes in fixed-interval performance",
abstract = "The distribution of latencies and interresponse times (IRTs) of rats was compared between two fixed-interval (FI) schedules of food reinforcement (FI 30 s and FI 90 s), and between two levels of food deprivation. Computational modeling revealed that latencies and IRTs were well described by mixture probability distributions embodying two-state Markov chains. Analysis of these models revealed that only a subset of latencies is sensitive to the periodicity of reinforcement, and prefeeding only reduces the size of this subset. The distribution of IRTs suggests that behavior in FI schedules is organized in bouts that lengthen and ramp up in frequency with proximity to reinforcement. Prefeeding slowed down the lengthening of bouts and increased the time between bouts. When concatenated, latency and IRT models adequately reproduced sigmoidal FI response functions. These findings suggest that behavior in FI schedules fluctuates in and out of schedule control; an account of such fluctuation suggests that timing and motivation are dissociable components of FI performance. These mixture-distribution models also provide novel insights on the motivational, associative, and timing processes expressed in FI performance. These processes may be obscured, however, when performance in timing tasks is analyzed in terms of mean response rates.",
keywords = "Bouts, Computational modeling, Fixed-interval, Interval timing, Motivation, Pre-feeding, Rats, Response duration",
author = "Daniels, {Carter W.} and Federico Sanabria",
year = "2016",
month = "7",
day = "21",
doi = "10.3758/s13420-016-0234-1",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--20",
journal = "Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers",
issn = "1554-351X",
publisher = "Springer New York",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Interval timing under a behavioral microscope

T2 - Dissociating motivational and timing processes in fixed-interval performance

AU - Daniels, Carter W.

AU - Sanabria, Federico

PY - 2016/7/21

Y1 - 2016/7/21

N2 - The distribution of latencies and interresponse times (IRTs) of rats was compared between two fixed-interval (FI) schedules of food reinforcement (FI 30 s and FI 90 s), and between two levels of food deprivation. Computational modeling revealed that latencies and IRTs were well described by mixture probability distributions embodying two-state Markov chains. Analysis of these models revealed that only a subset of latencies is sensitive to the periodicity of reinforcement, and prefeeding only reduces the size of this subset. The distribution of IRTs suggests that behavior in FI schedules is organized in bouts that lengthen and ramp up in frequency with proximity to reinforcement. Prefeeding slowed down the lengthening of bouts and increased the time between bouts. When concatenated, latency and IRT models adequately reproduced sigmoidal FI response functions. These findings suggest that behavior in FI schedules fluctuates in and out of schedule control; an account of such fluctuation suggests that timing and motivation are dissociable components of FI performance. These mixture-distribution models also provide novel insights on the motivational, associative, and timing processes expressed in FI performance. These processes may be obscured, however, when performance in timing tasks is analyzed in terms of mean response rates.

AB - The distribution of latencies and interresponse times (IRTs) of rats was compared between two fixed-interval (FI) schedules of food reinforcement (FI 30 s and FI 90 s), and between two levels of food deprivation. Computational modeling revealed that latencies and IRTs were well described by mixture probability distributions embodying two-state Markov chains. Analysis of these models revealed that only a subset of latencies is sensitive to the periodicity of reinforcement, and prefeeding only reduces the size of this subset. The distribution of IRTs suggests that behavior in FI schedules is organized in bouts that lengthen and ramp up in frequency with proximity to reinforcement. Prefeeding slowed down the lengthening of bouts and increased the time between bouts. When concatenated, latency and IRT models adequately reproduced sigmoidal FI response functions. These findings suggest that behavior in FI schedules fluctuates in and out of schedule control; an account of such fluctuation suggests that timing and motivation are dissociable components of FI performance. These mixture-distribution models also provide novel insights on the motivational, associative, and timing processes expressed in FI performance. These processes may be obscured, however, when performance in timing tasks is analyzed in terms of mean response rates.

KW - Bouts

KW - Computational modeling

KW - Fixed-interval

KW - Interval timing

KW - Motivation

KW - Pre-feeding

KW - Rats

KW - Response duration

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84979220663&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84979220663&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3758/s13420-016-0234-1

DO - 10.3758/s13420-016-0234-1

M3 - Article

C2 - 27443193

AN - SCOPUS:84979220663

SP - 1

EP - 20

JO - Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers

JF - Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers

SN - 1554-351X

ER -