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Shoot the target: assessment of the influence of the type of training on learning of multiple temporal discriminations

Grant number: 14/04706-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Marcelo Salvador Caetano
Grantee:Tatiane Panzarini Labliuk
Home Institution: Centro de Matemática, Computação e Cognição (CMCC). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


The ability to estimate the passage of time is a fundamental characteristic to our survival and ubiquitous in nature. We are not only able to predict the time to an event, but also to discriminate between different time intervals when they are signaled by different stimuli. Procedures that used the multiple fixed interval paradigm - a common training procedure in timing research - showed that although similar performance is observed at the end of training, the order in which the different intervals are trained have an influence on learning. When different intervals are trained in blocks of many consecutive trials, associations between the intervals and their respective stimuli are not formed. On the other hand, when they are trained intermixed across trials, those associations are formed. This project aims on describing the importance of the block size (number of consecutive trials of the same interval) on learning of the task. To investigate this issue, this study will use a shooting game on the computer with human participants. To perform well on this game, participants have to learn to discriminate different time intervals. The size of the blocks of trials will be manipulated and its influence on learning and performance will be assessed, that is, we will determine whether the different intervals will get associated with their respective stimuli. The results are relevant to the understanding of how and when we use different strategies to time multiple intervals. (AU)