An Assessment of Fixed Interval Timing in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera l)

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  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    An Assessment of Fixed Interval Timing in Free-Flying Honey Bees (Apis mellifera ligustica): An Analysis of Individual Performance
    Interval timing is a key element of foraging theory, models of predator avoidance, and competitive interactions. Although interval timing is well documented in vertebrate species, it is virtually unstudied in invertebrates. In the present experiment, we used free-flying honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) as a model for timing behaviors. Subjects were trained to enter a hole in an automated artificial flower to receive a nectar reinforcer (i.e. reward). Responses were continuously reinforced prior to exposure to either a fixed interval (FI) 15-sec, FI 30-sec, FI 60-sec, or FI 120-sec reinforcement schedule. We measured response rate and post-reinforcement pause within each fixed interval trial between reinforcers. Honey bees responded at higher frequencies earlier in the fixed interval suggesting subject responding did not come under traditional forms of temporal control. Response rates were lower during FI conditions compared to performance on continuous reinforcement schedules, and responding was more resistant to extinction when previously reinforced on FI schedules. However, no “scalloped†or “break-and-run†patterns of group or individual responses reinforced on FI schedules were observed; no traditional evidence of temporal control was found. Finally, longer FI schedules eventually caused all subjects to cease returning to the operant chamber indicating subjects did not tolerate the longer FI schedules.