Intertrial interval effects in pavlovian serial feature positive discriminations

Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effects of the intertrial interval (ITI) on learning and performance in Pavlovian appetitive serial feature positive (SFP) discriminations were examined in three experiments with rats. With longer ITIs, acquisition was more rapid, and there was less transfer of the feature's behavioral control to a separately trained target cue, suggesting that longer ITIs encouraged the use of an occasion setting strategy. Behavior was also affected by discrimination-specific ITIs. Rats were trained with two SFP discriminations. The overall ITI was held constant, but the intervals between trials of one discrimination were varied by intermixing different numbers of trials from the other discrimination. Learning was more rapid when the intervals between trials of a single discrimination were longer. A sequential analyses showed that performance on a trial was impaired when it was preceded by a trial that included the same target cue but with the opposite trial outcome. The results are discussed in the frameworks of proactive interference effects and deletion-comparator processes (Cooper, Aronson, Balsam, and Gibbon, 1990).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-139
Number of pages13
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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