Three pigeons received training on multiple variable-interval schedules with brief alternating components, concurrently with a fixed-interval schedule of food reinforcement on a second key. Fixed-interval performance exhibited typical increases in rate within the interval, and was independent of multiple-schedule responding. Responding on the multiple-schedule key decreased as a function of proximity to reinforcement on the fixed-interval key. The overall relative rate of responding in one component of the multiple schedule roughly matched the overall relative rate of reinforcement. Within the fixed interval, response rate during one multiple-schedule component was a monotonic, negatively accelerated function of response rate during the other component. To a first approximation, the data were described by a power function, where the exponent depended on the relative rate of reinforcement obtained in the two components. The relative rate of responding in one component of the multiple schedule increased as a function of proximity to fixed-interval reinforcement, and often exceeded the overall obtained relative rate of reinforcement. The form of the function relating response rates is discussed in relation to findings on rate-dependent effects of drugs, chaining, and the relation between response rate and reinforcement rate in single-schedule conditions.