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 #91
Self-Control, Behavioural Tolerance, and Functional Assessment in Behavioural Pharmacology Research
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
L2 Room 3
Area: BPH
Chair: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Drugs and "Self-Control" Choice: Effects on Sensitivity to Delay or Amount?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
RAYMOND C. PITTS (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Certain classes of drugs produce characteristic effects on choice under 'self-control" procedures. For example, stimulants (e.g., amphetamine) have been shown to increase choices of a larger, more delayed reinforcer (increase self-control). Such an effect usually is interpreted as a drug-induced change in delay discounting (i.e., a change in the effects of reinforcement delay). However, given that these procedures involve options with different reinforcement amounts, it is unclear whether or not this effect could be interpreted as a drug-induced change in the effects of reinforcement amount. In this talk, I will review some of the data on the effects of drugs under self-control procedures, and will describe some of our work investigating the potential contributions of drug-induced changes in sensitivity to reinforcement delay and amount as potential behavioral mechanisms of these effects.
Behavioral Tolerance: What's Reinforcement Loss Got to Do with It?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHRISTINE E. HUGHES (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: When a drug, such as morphine or amphetamine, is repeatedly administered, tolerance may develop to the behavioral disruption produced by the drug. That is, a given dose of the drug no longer produces its initial effect and a larger dose of the drug now is required to produce that effect. Tolerance to disruptive effects on operant behavior has been characterized as a learned phenomenon; that is, organisms learn to respond in the presence of the drug, and this often occurs when an initial effect of the drug is a loss of reinforcement. In this paper, I will review the history of the examination of behavioral tolerance. I also will present data from experiments from our laboratory involving open/closed economies and alternative sources of reinforcement. In these experiments, contingencies between key pecking and reinforcement were manipulated such that initial drug administration produced different degrees of reinforcement loss. In general, these manipulations did not produced different degrees of tolerance. Therefore, these data suggest that there might be limitations in the reinforcement-loss hypothesis of behavioral tolerance.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh