Timing behaviour of black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus)

David R. Brodbeck*, Robert R. Hampton, Ken Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    In Experiment 1 the behaviour of black-capped chickadees timing intervals of 12.5 or 37.5 s was studied using the peak procedure. Average rate of responding peaked near the trained FI on test trials, while the spread of the response distribution was larger for the longer FI. On individual trials, chickadees showed a break-run-break pattern of abrupt changes in rate of responding. These results, plus the pattern of means, standard deviations, and correlations found in start times, stop times, and durations of runs, were similar to those found in pigeons and rats. This suggests that birds and rodents use similar timing mechanisms. In Experiment 2, chickadees were tested with an interrupted FI signal. On such 'gap' trials, the chickadees, like pigeons but unlike rats tested under similar parameters, ignored the signal time elapsed prior to the FI interruption and reset the interval clock. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183-195
    Number of pages13
    JournalBehavioural Processes
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


    • Black-capped chickadees
    • Parus atricapillus
    • Timing behaviour


    Dive into the research topics of 'Timing behaviour of black-capped chickadees (Parus atricapillus)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this