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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Time perception and patience: individual differences in interval timing precision predict choice impulsivity in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris
Author(s): Andrews, Clare
Dunn, Jonathon
Nettle, Daniel
Bateson, Melissa
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Keywords: Interval timing
Scalar expectancy theory
Delay discounting
Sturnus vulgaris
Issue Date: 12-Jan-2021
Date Deposited: 4-Feb-2021
Citation: Andrews C, Dunn J, Nettle D & Bateson M (2021) Time perception and patience: individual differences in interval timing precision predict choice impulsivity in European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris. Animal Cognition, pp. -.
Abstract: Impulsivity, in the sense of the extent rewards are devalued as the time until their realization increases, is linked to various negative outcomes in humans, yet understanding of the cognitive mechanisms underlying it is limited. Variation in the imprecision of interval timing is a possible contributor to variation in impulsivity. We use a numerical model to generate predictions concerning the effect of timing imprecision on impulsivity. We distinguish between fixed imprecision (the imprecision that applies even when timing the very shortest time intervals) and proportional imprecision (the rate at which imprecision increases as the interval becomes longer). The model predicts that impulsivity should increase with increasing fixed imprecision, but decrease with increasing proportional imprecision. We present data from a cohort of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris, n = 28) in which impulsivity had previously been measured through an intertemporal choice paradigm. We tested interval timing imprecision in the same individuals using a tri-peak temporal reproduction procedure. We found repeatable individual differences in both fixed and proportional imprecision. As predicted, birds with greater proportional imprecision in interval timing made fewer impulsive choices, whilst those with greater fixed imprecision tended to make more. Contradictory observations in the literature regarding the direction of association between timing imprecision and impulsivity might be clarified by distinguishing between fixed and proportional components of imprecision.
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10071-020-01456-2
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Notes: Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
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