Some observations of the effects of intertrial interval and delay on delayed matching to sample in pigeons

William A. Roberts, Philipp J. Kraemer

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104 Scopus citations


Accuracy of delayed matching to sample was studied in 12 Silver King pigeons at different combinations of length of intertrial interval (ITI) and length of delay. When ITI and delay were varied between sessions in Exps I and II, accuracy increased monotonically with ITI and decreased monotonically with delay. Evidence was found for constancy of performance at equivalent ratios of ITI to delay, and percentage of correct choices was linearly related to the log of this ratio. In Exps III and IV, ITI was manipulated as a within-sessions variable. In contrast to the effect of this variable when manipulated between sessions, accuracy improved only from the shortest interval to the next shortest interval and remained constant at all longer intervals. In Exp IV, it was found that performance improved as a direct function of the mean ITI for sessions and that this relation was not affected by the degree of ITI variability within sessions. Findings resemble the effects of temporal variables on autoshaping, and the possibility that some common processes are involved in delayed matching and autoshaping is discussed. (28 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-353
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1982


  • delay, accuracy of delayed matching to sample, pigeons
  • intertrial interval &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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