"A pigeon is brought to a stable state of hunger by reducing it to 75 percent of its weight when well fed. It is put into an experimental cage for a few minutes each day. A food hopper attached to the cage may be swung into place so that the pigeon can eat from it. A solenoid and a timing relay hold the hopper in place for five sec. at each reinforcement. If a clock is now arranged to present the food hopper at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird's behavior, operant conditioning usually takes place." The bird tends to learn whatever response it is making when the hopper appears. The response may be extinguished and reconditioned. "The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)
Kelso, Scott J. A. (1993): Theoretical Concepts and Strategies for Understanding perceptual-Motor Skill: From Information Capacity in Closed Systems to Self-Organization in Open, Nonequilibrium Systems. In Journal of Experimental Psychology, 121 (3) pp. 260-261.