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Intertrial interval is the amount of time between seperate trials in learning studies. It is typically measured from the start of one trial to the start of the next trial and therefore includes the time that stimuli are presented as well as the waiting period to the next trial. So in a Pavlovian conditioning experiment, if one rings the first bell (CS) for 10 seconds and gives food (US) at the end of the bell and then rings the bell for the 2nd pairing 50 seconds after food, the ITI is 60 sec. Learning typically improves with longer intertrial intervals.