Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #494
Dementia Patients
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Travis A/B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: DEV
Chair: Javier Virues-Ortega (CIBERNED, Carlos III Institute of Health)
The Reinforcing Effect of Edible, Leisure, and Social Stimuli in Patients With Dementia
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CELIA NOGALES-GONZALEZ (Association for Behavior Analysis Spain), Javier Virues-Ortega (CIBERNED, Carlos III Institute of Health)
Abstract: Alzheimer’s dementia is a neurodegenerative disease that involves a number of behavioral features that have not yet been studied. A basic step into that aim is to study how reinforcement works in this population. The present study explores systematically through a series of four experiments the following aspects of reinforcement in dementia: (a) forms of stimuli that are more frequently preferred by dementia patients, (b) dependence between preference and reinforcement among dementia patients, and (c) reinforcing effect of preferred stimuli in already acquired tasks and newly acquired tasks. In Experiment 1 an adapted version of the Fisher pair-wise preference protocol in 15 participants using edible and leisure stimuli. In Experiment 2 four participants were reinforced contingently upon engagement in tasks already in the individuals’ repertoire. Highly preferred items as identified in Experiment 1 were used as reinforcers. Experiment 3 replicated Experiment 2 with newly acquired tasks. Experiment 4 finally, replicated results in Experiments 2 and 3 controlling for the effect of social stimuli which was combined with leisure and edible items in Experiments 2 and 3. The present study may help establish the basis for the applied use of reinforcement in dementia patients.
CANCELLED Rule-Governed Versus Contingency-Shaped Behavior Among Dementia Patients
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Abstract: A key factor in the development of behavior analysis entails the exploration of the behavioral operating features of specific diseases. Dementia is a neurodegenerative diseases that may have an impact on basic behavioral processes, although little research has been conducted from a behavioral perspective in this population. The present studies aims to identify the separate effects and the interaction of direct contingencies and contingencies posed verbally in the form of verbal instructions in the behavior pattern of dementia patients. Cumulative response rates were compared systematically over four conditions in which coincident and non-coincident verbal instructions and actual contingencies were paired: Condition 1, instruction described the actual schedule; Condition 2, instruction described a schedule different to the schedule actually operating; Condition 3, schedule only, no instruction; Condition 4, instruction only, no actual schedule. Results are discussed in the context of recent verbal behavior research and also in terms of the progressive deterioration of verbal behavior in patients with dementing disorders.



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