Temporal control of behavior: schedule interactions

P Harzem, C F Lowe, P T Spencer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    In Experiment I the response that terminated the postreinforcement pauses occurring under a fixed-interval 60-second schedule was reinforced, if the pause duration exceeded 30 seconds. The percentage of such pauses, rather than increasing, decreased. There were complex effects on the discriminative control of the pause by the reinforcer terminating the previous fixed interval, depending on whether the fixed interval and the added reinforcer were the same or different. In Experiments II(a) and II(b), each reinforcement initiated an alternative fixed-interval interresponse-time-greater-than-t-sec schedule, the schedule values being systematically varied. When the response following a pause exceeding a given duration was reinforced, fewer such pauses occurred than when they were not reinforced, i.e., on the comparable simple fixed-interval schedule. There was no systematic relationship between mean interrinforcement interval and duration of the postreinforcement pause. The pause duration initiated by reinforcement was directly related to the dependency controlling the shortest pause at that time, regardless of changes in mean interreinforcement interval.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-70
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of the experimental analysis of behavior
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1978


    • Postreinforcement pause
    • Discriminative control
    • Temporal control
    • Natural response rate
    • Fixed interval
    • Interresponse time greater than t seconds
    • Rats


    Dive into the research topics of 'Temporal control of behavior: schedule interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this