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Packet theory of conditioning and timing

Kirkpatrick, K. (2002) Packet theory of conditioning and timing. Behavioural Processes, 57 (2-3). pp. 89-106. ISSN 0376-6357

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Packet theory is based on the assumption that the momentary probability of producing a bout or packet of responding is controlled by the conditional expected time function. Bouts of head entry responses of rats into a food cup appear to have the same characteristics across a range of conditions. The conditional expected time function is the mean expected time remaining until the next food delivery as a function of time since an event such as food or stimulus onset. The conditional expected time function encodes mean interval duration as well as the distribution form so that both the mean response rate and form of responding in time can be predicted. Simulations of Packet theory produced accurate quantitative predictions of: (1) the effect of reinforcement density (mean food–food interval) and distribution form on responding; (2) scalar variance in fixed interval responding; (3) CS–US and intertrial interval effects on the strength of conditioning; and (4) the effect of the ratio of cycle:trial time on the strength of conditioning.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Psychology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2009 15:05
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2009 15:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0376-6357(02)00007-4
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/S0376-6357(02)00007-4
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/5681

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