Timing in a variable interval procedure: evidence for a memory singularity

Behav Processes. 2014 Jan;101:49-57. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2013.08.010. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Rats were trained in either a 30 s peak-interval procedure, or a 15-45 s variable interval peak procedure with a uniform distribution (Exp 1) or a ramping probability distribution (Exp 2). Rats in all groups showed peak shaped response functions centered around 30 s, with the uniform group having an earlier and broader peak response function and rats in the ramping group having a later peak function as compared to the single duration group. The changes in these mean functions, as well as the statistics from single trial analyses, can be better captured by a model of timing in which memory is represented by a single, average, delay to reinforcement compared to one in which all durations are stored as a distribution, such as the complete memory model of Scalar Expectancy Theory or a simple associative model. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Associative and Temporal Learning.

Keywords: Memory; Peak procedure; Rats; Time perception.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception / physiology