Temperature Independence of an Arbitrary Temporal Discrimination in the Goldfish

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Science  30 Jul 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3683, pp. 561-563
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3683.561


Goldfish were taught to press a lever for food reinforcement and were placed on a 1-minute fixed-interval schedule. They developed the characteristic temporal discrimination (scalloping) seen in rats and pigeons. There was no change in their relative response rate through the 1-minute interval when ambient temperature was decreased by 10°C. This 10°C temperature drop, which approximately halves the metabolic rate, approximately halved the absolute response rate. These results indicate that a temporal discrimination can be established in the goldfish, and suggest that discriminations of short intervals in fish are not dependent on a mechanism tied directly to metabolic rate.

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