A toast to Christmas present

[From Rick Marken (941227.1630)]

Bruce Abbott (941227.1250 EST)--

Bill, I have some good news...we are clear to order rats and get
down to business. Now would be a good time to nail down what data
we are going to collect and when.

This is great news indeed, Bruce. I propose a toast to your nice
Christmas present. I think that the best way to appreciate the difference
between PCT and other explanations of behavior is to experience the
controlling done by real control systems. The operant research you are
planning with Bill will give us all an opportunity to see whether rats
are really controlled by food pellets or whether they are controlling
some perceptual characteristic of those pellets. I think it would really
be neat if you include a variable disturbance in a least one of your
experimental conditions. For example, you might vary the number of pellets
delivered per press; this would be a disturbance if the rat is controlling
pellets/unit time, probability of a pellet or the amount of the integral of
food inputs. It would not be a disturbance if the rat is controlling
food delivery/N pressses; that is, it's not a disturbance if the rat doesn't
care how many pellets are delivered as long as at least one is delivered/N

It is really great that you are doing this, Bruce;it's small step for PCT
research but a giant leap for PCT.