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.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #69
International Paper Session - Human Motor Learning and Extinction
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
L2 Room 2
Area: EAB
Chair: Gerson Yukio Tomanari (University of São Paulo)
Extinction in Rats: Response Sequences as Operant Units.
Domain: Experimental Analysis
GERSON YUKIO TOMANARI (University of São Paulo), Alessandra Villas-Bôas (University of São Paulo)
Abstract: The present research analyzed two different processes that often occur during extinction, that is, behavioral resurgence and behavioral variation. Sixteen rats were exposed to contingencies in which sequences of four bar presses distributed in two different manipulada were trained as operant units. Four distinct operant units were trained in each of four different experimental conditions. Two groups of subjects were constituted. For Group 1, but not for Group 2, an extinction period immediately followed each trained operant. For both groups, an extinction period followed the training of the fourth operant. Considering this final extinction period, results showed that the absence (versus the presence) of the intermediate extinction periods (Group 2 versus Group 1, respectively) was accompanied by a relatively higher frequency of previously trained sequences. This result seems to demonstrate the critical role of the maintenance of a given behavior (i.e., that has not been extinguished) for its behavioral resurgence. In addition, data during extinction showed high frequency of units of four bar-press sequences that had not been previously trained. Such behavioral variation, however, was clearly restricted to sequences that involved lower number of switches between bars. Given these findings, behavioral resurgence and behavioral variation will be related and discussed.
Reinforcement and Feedback in Human Motor Learning.
Domain: Experimental Analysis
IVER H. IVERSEN (University of North Florida)
Abstract: Operant conditioning and human motor learning are two separate areas of psychology. The presentation will outline similarities and differences between these two areas. Reinforcement is the main variable in operant conditioning while “feedback” is the main variable in human motor learning. Reinforcement and feedback are not identical variables and are treated differently in these two areas of psychology. The presentation will outline the similarities and differences between these variables and their relative influence on performance in motor learning tasks with human subjects. Data will be presented from research with human subjects performing computerized aiming tasks and receiving reinforcement as well as feedback for their accuracy. Both reinforcement and feedback were manipulated variables. When verbal statements and graded numbers are given as performance feedback, it is tacitly assumed that the subject’s behavior is controlled by such stimuli. Additional experiments with human subjects determined the extent to which training subjects to use such feedback improves performance. The presentation will seek to encourage behavior analysts to explore literature and research in the area of motor learning; equally, psychologists in the motor learning area are encouraged to explore literature and research in the area of operant conditioning.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh