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Food was presented to pigeons, irrespective of their behavior. The fixed 60-s interfood interval was segmented into ten 6-s periods, each signaled by a distinctive stimulus color, ordered by wavelength. This "interfood clock" reliably generated and maintained successively higher rates of key pecking at stimuli successively closer to food. Under extinction, key pecking ceased. When the standard stimulus sequence was changed to a different sequence for each bird, accelerated responding again emerged and was sustained under each of the new color sequences. However, responding was neither maintained nor acquired when each successive interfood interval provided a different random sequence of the ten stimuli. Thus, the interfood clock generated and maintained sign-tracking under stimulus control, and the resulting behavior was attributable neither to stimulus generalization nor to a simple temporal gradient.

Publication/Presentation Information

Palya, W.L. (May 1985) "Sign-Tracking with an Interfood Clock." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 43(3): 321-330.



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