Overshadowing and Stimulus Duration

Dómhnall J. Jennings*, Charlotte Bonardi, Kimberly Kirkpatrick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


In 3 experiments, the authors investigated the effect of stimulus duration on overshadowing. Experiments 1 and 2 examined responding to a target conditioned stimulus (CS1) when it was conditioned in compound with a coterminating overshadowing stimulus (CS2) that was longer, shorter, or of the same duration (the long, short, and matched groups, respectively). Equal overshadowing of conditioning to CS1 was obtained in all 3 conditions relative to a control group conditioned to the light alone. There were, however, differences in responding to CS2 as a function of its absolute duration. Experiment 3 examined the contribution of the food-food interval/CS onset-food interval ratio to these findings. In Experiments 1 and 2, the ratio differed for the overshadowing CS but not for the target CS. In Experiment 3, this arrangement was reversed, but the pattern of results remained the same. The implications of these findings for trial-based and real-time models of conditioning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-475
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • classical conditioning
  • overshadowing
  • rats
  • stimulus duration
  • timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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