Attention and timing: Dual-task performance in pigeons

Helga Lejeune, Françoise MacAr, Dan Zakay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pigeons were exposed to an analog of a 'dual-task' procedure used to test attentional models of timing in humans. After separate training on an auditory duration discrimination and on a variable ratio (VR) schedule, VR episodes lasting for 5 s were superimposed on the stimuli to be timed, either early (E) or late (L) during the trial. Trials with VR yielded underestimation of the target durations (increased % of 'short' choices), relative to trials without VR, and this effect was stronger under the L than under the E condition. Data were similar to those collected with humans and support attentional models of timing according to which the simultaneous non-timing task uses processing resources which are diverted from the timing mechanisms. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioural Processes
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1999


  • Attention
  • Dual task
  • Pigeons
  • Timing


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