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What is learned during simultaneous temporal acquisition? An individual-trials analysis

, : What is learned during simultaneous temporal acquisition? An individual-trials analysis. Behavioural Processes 101: 32-37

The processes involved in the acquisition of simultaneous temporal processing are currently less understood. For example, it is unclear whether scalar property emerges early during simultaneous temporal acquisition. Using an information-processing model which accounts for the amount of information that each temporal process provides in regard to reward time, we predicted that scalar property would emerge early during the acquisition process, but that subjects should take about 27% longer (more trials) to acquire the long duration than the short duration. To evaluate these predictions, we performed individual-trials analyses to identify changes in timing behavior when rats simultaneously acquire two criterion durations, either 10s and 20s (group 10/20) or 20s and 40s (group 20/40). To analyze the individual trials we used a change-point algorithm to identify changes in rats' wait time. For each individual rat, and for each criterion duration, analyses indicated that simultaneous temporal acquisition is characterized by a sudden change in waiting to a wait-time proportional to the associated criterion. The results failed to indicate group differences in regard to the number of trials it takes for the change in wait-time to occur, but that in both groups, it took longer (more trials) to acquire the long duration than the shorter one, not significantly different from the theoretical prediction. These results are discussed in the framework of an information-processing model informing both associative and temporal learning, thus providing a bridge between the two fields. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Associative and Temporal Learning.


PMID: 24103448

DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2013.09.008

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