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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

Previous Page


Poster Session #253
#253 Poster Session - EAB
Sunday, May 29, 2005
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
82. An Automated Training Procedure for Presenting Olfactory Stimuli to Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KAREN M. LIONELLO-DENOLF (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Sheila Mihalick (E.K. Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Abstract: Although rats, a commonly used subject in laboratory research, have a keen sense of smell, few researchers who use them as subjects actually use olfactory stimuli during training. One reason is that it is difficult to present the stimuli and control their presentation. Recently, however, several researchers have begun training conditional discriminations using odor stimuli mixed into cups of sand. One problem with this research is that it is necessary for researchers to physically replace the stimuli on a trial-by-trial basis. We have recently developed a training program in which olfactory stimuli are presented to rats via a stimulus panel containing 5 nosepokes fitted with photobeams to record responses. Scents, everyday baking extracts, are placed in jars, and an air pump pushes the scents into the nosepokes for presentation. This procedure is fully automated and does not require the researcher to configure the stimuli while the subjects are in a session. Six rats were trained on simultaneous discrimination reversals using the apparatus and have begun training on matching-to-sample. Data will be presented showing acquisition of both types of discrimination in order to illustrate that olfactory stimuli can be used in psychological research.
83. Making the Unappetizing a Positive Reinforcer: Positive Induction and its Application to Overeating
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRENT C. HANSON (University of North Dakota), Jeffrey N. Weatherly (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: Our lab has found that rats will increase their rate of operant responding for a low-valued reinforcer if they will soon have the opportunity to respond for a high-valued reinforcer. This positive induction effect is both relatively large and quite reliable. The present study investigated whether such an induction effect would also occur if rats were responding for a substance for which they would normally not respond. Rats responded in sessions in which pressing a lever was reinforced with 10% unsweetened lemon juice during the first 25 min of the session. In treatment conditions, a 45-mg food pellet served as a reinforcer in the second 25 min of the session, with the rate of reinforcement varying across conditions. In the control condition, lemon juice was also the reinforcer in the second half of the session. Results showed positive induction was observed. They also showed that responding typically ceased in the control condition. These results provide compelling evidence that positive induction may aid in our understanding of eating behavior (e.g., overeating).
84. Haloperidol and Progressive Ratio Schedules: Size of the Step and Reinforcer Type
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PABLO COVARRUBIAS (Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Comportamiento), Carlos F. Aparicio (Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones en Comportamiento)
Abstract: Research in neuroscience suggests that dopamine (DA) mediates the emission of operant behaviors maintained with positive reinforcement. It has been shown that DA antagonists (e.g., haloperidol) suppress operant behaviors. This effect suggests that haloperidol affects motor and motivational systems. The present study tested this idea with rats responding for food in progressive ratio (PR) schedules. The parameters of Killeen’s Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement model were used to estimate the effects of haloperidol on motor and motivational systems. Four doses of haloperidol were assessed (ip) under circumstances where the PR schedules differed in the size of the step (1 vs. 3 responses), the type of reinforcer (food vs. saccharine pellets), and their context (noisy vs. quiet). The parameters of activation, response time, and coupling changed as a function of type of reinforcer and dose of haloperidol. But, they were not affected by the size of the step. The implications of these results for the anhedonia hypothesis will be discussed.
85. The Effects of Reinforcement Magnitude on Schedule-Induced Polydipsia in Single Pellet Delivery Trials
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JOSEPH K. GOLSON (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: A relation between reinforcement magnitude and schedule induced polydipsia has not been established. Various researchers in this area report finding a direct relation between meal size and drinking measures, an inverse relation, and no relation. Additionally, in most studies varying the meal also results in confounds between variables such as total amount delivered per session, session length, and meal length. The purpose of the present study is to show the relationship between meal size and drinking in a one feeding per day schedule. Polydipsia will be established in four rats with daily sessions and fixed time enforcement. Drinking will then be measured in sessions consisting of a single meal delivery. This is to avoid satiation confounds seen in previous studies while making large amounts of food and water available to polydipsic rats. It is expected that through the elimination of some of the previously existing confounds that a relationship between reinforcement magnitude and schedule induced polydipsia may be observed.
86. The Use of Odor as a Conditioned Stimulus for Schedule-Induced Polydipsia in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HEATHER M. ANSON (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Studies that have attempted to classically condition schedule-induced drinking to stimuli such as tones have met with limited success. This might be because tones are less effective conditioned stimuli for appetitive responses than food-related cues. Therefore, the proposed study will examine whether an odor cue can become a conditioned stimulus for schedule-induced drinking. Four Sprague Dawley rats will be made polydipsic using a fixed time schedule of food pellet presentation. Once schedule-induced polydipsia is established, the odor will be presented just prior to the food pellet delivery. The odor will then be occasionally presented without the presence of food to determine whether or not the odor will now induce drinking. Additional conditions will be added to test for direct elicitation of drinking by the odor and for other potential confounds. Pairing odor with food during acquisition will also be tested. If odor can be made a conditioned stimulus for drinking then the case that schedule-induced drinking is a reflexive phenomenon is strengthened. This will further support an animal model for obsessive compulsive disorder in humans.
87. Cerebellar Dentate Lesions Disrupt Motivation on a Progressive Ratio Operant Conditioning Task
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DAVID J. BAUER (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee), Joseph Richardson (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee), Rodney Swain (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee)
Abstract: The cerebellothalamocortical (CTC) pathway is an anatomically distinct neural loop from the dentate nuclei of the cerebellum to the prefrontal cortex, via the thalamus. Disruptions in this circuit are implicated in executive dysfunction, and potentially evidenced in disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and dementia. The current experiment sought to augment the knowledge of the CTC pathway by studying its implications in motivation. It was hypothesized that disruption of this circuit, via bilateral electrolytic lesioning of the dentate nuclei, would negatively influence executive motivation as a function of decreased input to motivational areas of the prefrontal cortex. Motivation in rats can be assessed operantly via a progressive ratio “breaking point” paradigm. Nine Long-Evans hooded rats were trained to press a lever for sucrose pellets (Noyes) on a PR20 schedule. Rats were trained daily until they completed a criterion of three consecutive days of consistent breaking points, prior to surgery. Following surgery and a one-week recovery period, rats were tested to the same criterion. One-way repeated measures analyses of variance demonstrated significant differences between pre- and post-surgical breaking points. These results support the implicated CTC role in executive functions.
88. The Response-Reinforcer Relation in Resistance to Change: Effects of Immediate, Briefly-Delayed, and Longer-Delayed Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHRISTOPHER A. PODLESNIK (Utah State University), Corina Jimenez-Gomez (Utah State University), Ryan D. Ward (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: According to behavioral momentum theory, resistance to change is determined by the relation between the stimulus context and reinforcement rate (Pavlovian stimulus-reinforcer relation) and is independent of the relation between the response and reinforcer (operant response-reinforcer relation). Inconsistent with behavioral momentum theory, degrading the response-reinforcer relation with delayed reinforcement decreases resistance to change while the maintaining equal stimulus-reinforcer relations. There have been no examinations, however, of how different delay durations differentially affect resistance to change. The present experiment evaluated the effects of immediate, briefly-delayed (0.5 s), and longer-delayed (3 s) reinforcement on resistance to change in a three-component multiple variable-interval schedule of reinforcement using pigeons. There were no systematic differences in baseline response rates across the components with immediate and briefly-delayed reinforcers. Response rates were lowest with longer-delayed reinforcers. When responding was disrupted, resistance to change generally decreased as a function of the increasing delay duration. These results extend those of previous research and suggest that the persistence of responding maintained by immediate and delayed reinforcement may also be a function of response-reinforcer contiguity. The results will be discussed in terms of the implications for the roles of the stimulus-reinforcer and response-reinforcer relations in behavioral momentum theory.
89. Dishabituation with Infants
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JAMES MCEWAN (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Kylie Marie Jeffrey (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
Abstract: Within-session changes in response rate are well studied, but this research is almost exclusively with non-human animals. This work investigates the role of habituation and dishabituation (sensitization) towards the reinforcer in explaining within-session changes. Here we seek to demonstrate within session effects with infants. The activation of a hanging mobile serves as the reinforcer and kicking the leg (attached to the mobile) serves as the response. In the first phase we identify typical patterns of within session changes in response rate based on measures of the rate of kicking and movement of the mobile. In the second phase we demonstrate the effect of a simple dishabituation stimulus, ringing a bell, in reversing the decline in response rate. These findings with infants giving further support for the sensitization theory for explaining within session changes.
90. Effects of Concurrently Available Fixed-Time Reinforcers on Responding Under a Variable-Interval Schedule
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RAQUEL ALO (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: To investigate the effects of a concurrent FT schedule on responding controlled by a VI schedule, in Experiment 1, three pigeons were exposed to a VI 300s schedule (Baseline). Next, free-food according to an FT 100-s schedule was programmed in a hopper located on another panel, 30 cm from the hopper where the VI schedule reinforcers were delivered (condition Near). The FT hopper was then moved further away from the VI hopper (180 cm; condition Far). Finally, the condition Near was reinstated. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1, but the 3-s limited access to free-food during Experiment 1 was modified: the FT hopper remained on until a photocell was broken, after which 3-s access to the free-food was available. During the baselines, responding was moderate and steady. The addition of the free-food in the Near and Far conditions disrupted responding according to the FT interval: as this interval elapsed, responding decreased. Early decrement of VI responding during the FT Interreinforcement intervals was more often observed in the Far condition, and with the limited access. These results suggest that responding on the VI schedule was a conjoint function of reinforcement under the VI schedule and the interreinforcement intervals of the FT schedule.
91. Preference and Resistance to Change in Chain and Tandem Schedule Components
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KATHLEEN S. FITZSIMMONS (Santa Clara University), Katharine Seip (Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey), Matthew C. Bell (Santa Clara University)
Abstract: The present study used pigeons to evaluate the relationship between preference and resistance to change, two putative measures of response strength. Daily sessions employed two phases. For the first half of the session, a concurrent-chain procedure was used to evaluate preference for segmented terminal links. During the initial link, two concurrently available variable-interval 60-s schedules were presented on side keys. One alternative lead to a chain schedule terminal link that consisted of a variable-interval schedule followed by a 5-s fixed-interval schedule. The other alternative lead to a tandem schedule terminal link identical to the chain schedule except without a stimulus change. During the second half of the session, subjects were exposed to a two-component multiple schedule. Each terminal link from the concurrent chains procedure served as a component in the multiple schedule. After establishing a stable baseline to assess preference, subjects were exposed to the multiple schedule alone in extinction to assess resistance to change. Subjects were indifferent during the concurrent chains procedure. Extinction tests showed responding to the tandem schedule was more resistant to change compared to the chain schedule when a VI 5-s was used in the first link, but not when a VI 45-s was used.
92. Visual Reinforcement In Female Betta Splendens
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MIRARI ELKORO (West Virginia University), Stephanie P. Da Silva (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Acquisition and maintenance of operant responding was studied in female Betta Splendens (Siamese fighting fish). The operant response was swimming through a ring placed inside a 2.5-gal tank. Responses were reinforced by 10-s access to a mirror. In Experiment 1, responding of three female Bettas was maintained under a fixed-ratio (FR) 1. A variable time (VT) schedule of reinforcement was implemented, and response rates decreased. The value of the VT was the mean interreinforcement time obtained during the FR 1 condition. Response rates recovered when the FR 1 was reinstated. Experiment 2 showed acquisition and maintenance of responding under an FR 1, in four females. Following this, responding decreased dramatically during three extinction sessions. Experiment 3 replicated the findings of Experiment 2 with two additional naïve females and two retrained females from Experiment 2. A prolonged extinction phase replicated the results from Experiments 1 and 2. Reversal to the FR 1 schedule resulted in recovery of response rates to the levels obtained during the initial training. This is the first demonstration of visual reinforcement of operant behavior in female fighting fish, thereby extending a well-established finding with males of this species.
93. Effects of Housing and Stress on Discrimination Behavior in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LINDSEY KATORA (Allegheny College), Jennifer M. O'Donnell (Allegheny College), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Abstract: In the present study, 21 albino rats, of both sexes were housed in either an enriched or impoverished environment. Animals in the enriched environments were housed in large cages with a number of additional stimuli including running wheels, balls, ceramic pots,tunnels, and bells. Enriched environment animals also had access to social contact with other same-sexed rats. Animals in the impoverished environments were housed individually in small cages with no additional stimuli. Following a 30-day habituation period to their respective environments, all rats experienced a stress condition of inescapable foot shock until they displayed passive avoidance for a five-minute period. The response acqusition of each animal was then tested through shaping of lever pressing, and performance ability of each animal was evaluated through the a discrimination task. The results indicate that animals from the enriched environment acquired the response faster and demonstrated stronger stimulus control than animals from the impoverished environment. However, animals from both environments still acquired the response regardless of the precondition.
94. EAHB-SIG Student Paper Award Winner: Emergence of Complex Conditional Discriminations by Joint Control of Compound Samples
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BENIGNO ALONSO ÁLVAREZ (University of Oviedo, Spain)
Abstract: The present study explored the emergence of verbal behavior as result of the joint control of two novel antecedent stimuli. Conditional discriminations were used with stimuli P1, P2, Q1, and Q2 as samples and stimuli A1, A2, B1, and B2 as comparisons. I taught four simple conditional discriminations with one sample and two comparisons in each trial; overall, each sample controlled selections of two comparison stimuli. In a probe with no reinforcement, one P and one Q stimuli formed a compound sample, and the four comparisons appeared in each trial. Only selections of one comparison have been reinforced in the presence of the two sample stimuli during teaching. I analyzed whether the two sample stimuli would jointly control comparison selections. In Study 1, two adult participants did not show the emergence of the discrimination with the compound sample. In Study 2, I modified the procedure of Study 1 in such a way that a prompt procedure was used, trials of the four simple conditional discriminations were gradually intermixed, and the reinforcement was reduced. The adult participants showed the emergence of the conditional discrimination with the complex sample. Thus, this study demonstrated the emergence of discriminations by joint control. Faculty Advisor: Luis Antonio Pérez-González (Universidad de Oviedo - Spain)
95. A Virtual Alternative to the Morris Water-Maze Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LUISA GUERRERO (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The water-maze procedure, developed by Morris (1984), has been widely used to investigate spatial learning in animals. It has also proved useful for several different kinds of neurobiological study. The procedure also has a number of weaknesses among which may be included the stress induced in animal subjects from immersion in water and by excessive handling. The effects of these stressors may be such as to interact with experimental manipulations in unknown and uncontrolled ways. The aim of the present study was to develop an alternative to the water-maze procedure in which these stressors could be eliminated. The new procedure is conducted with food deprived mice in a dry chamber. A camera fixed to the top of the chamber recorded the animals’ movements in real time, and custom designed software permitted the automated delivery of all stimulus events to the chamber and collected all other data. The submerged platform used in the water-maze was replaced by a “virtual” spot. A standard procedure employed in water-maze investigations were duplicated as closely as possible in the new environment. The results of our investigations and their implications for future work on neurobiological conditions are presented.
96. Environmental Enrichment at the Small Zoo
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SARAH BENNETT (Illinois Wesleyan University), James D. Dougan (Illinois Wesleyan University)
Abstract: Captive wild animals often develop abnormal stereotypical behavior patterns in response to their captivity. Environmental enrichment is becoming an increasingly popular method of eliminating, reducing, or redirecting pathological responses. Large zoos often have considerable resources at their disposal, and as a result enrichment programs in large zoos have been quite successful. Small zoos present a different set of problems because of resource limitations. The present paper describes several enrichment programs at a small Midwestern zoo, conducted with a wide variety of species including bears, tigers, snow leopards, wolves, and tortoises. Data from the various programs may help others small zoos design better enrichment programs.
97. Using the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR) as an Animal Model to Examine the Role of Delay in Establishing Conditioned Reinforcers in Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KRISTINA T. AUSTIN (James Madison University), Sherry L. Serdikoff (James Madison University), Jonathan M. Slezak (James Madison University), A. Charles Catania (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), estimated to affect 3 to 5 percent of school-age children, includes among its core symptoms an inability to concentrate and to sustain attention. Recent research suggests that these symptoms may result from an altered reinforcement mechanism characterized by shorter and steeper delay-of-reinforcement gradients. Given that the ability of discriminative stimuli (SD’s) to effectively control behavior is inversely related to the delay between the onset of the SD’s and reinforcers that follow them, it follows from this view that individuals with steeper, shorter gradients will exhibit deficits in stimulus control. The current study investigates this possibility in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), an animal model of ADHD. SHRs and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKYs) are trained to press one lever under a mixed extinction and fixed-interval schedule of reinforcement while responses on a second lever (observing responses) produce discriminative stimuli differentially associated with the current conditions on the first lever. To the extent that rate of observing decreases more rapidly in SHR than in WKY rats as the duration of the fixed interval increases, these data provide additional evidence for SHR as an animal model of ADHD and for the altered reinforcement mechanism view of the disorder.
98. Behavioral and Physiological Sequelae of Perinatal Nutritional Variations
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JASON LANDON (University of Auckland), Michael C. Davison (University of Auckland), Mhoyra Fraser (University of Auckland), Bernhard Breier (University of Auckland)
Abstract: In recent years, a great deal of biomedical research has focussed on the effects of early-life nutritional “programming” on the development of adult metabolic disorders. Prenatal nutrition has been identified as a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes, and consistently associated with reduced cognitive function. We have developed a model of prenatal undernutrition in the rat which produces offspring who are growth retarded at birth, but based on the early environmental manipulation develop obesity and metabolic disorders in adult life. The biological phenotype of these animals shows parallels with the obesity and metabolic disorders common in Western Societies that have been linked with major health problems. For comparison, we use a second model in which food intake is increased during the suckling period by reducing litter size – this model results in a similar biological phenotype. The aim of our multi-disciplinary research is to characterize the behavioral, physiological, metabolic, and neuroendocrine effects of these early life nutritional variations and integrate these to provide a comprehensive account of the development of metabolic and associated health issues. A summary of our research to date will be presented.
99. Activity Anorexia: Aversions to Flavors Not Seen During Continuous Access to Exercise
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
AMY K DRAYTON (Eastern Michigan University), James T. Todd (Eastern Michigan University)
Abstract: Activity anorexia (AA) is a phenomenon in which the reinforcement value of food decreases and the reinforcement value of exercise increases. It has been suggested that food becomes less reinforcing because a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) develops to the food eaten immediately prior to exercise. This study updates and confirms findings previously reported. In the study, male Sprague-Dawley rats were given continuous access to Wahmann running wheels. Food was made available for 30-90 minutes each day, with food intake, wheel revolutions, and the rats’ weights recorded daily. The type and flavor of food was changed periodically in a multielement design to determine if running suppressed the intake of these flavors. The results of these experiments show that while daily, time-limited trials of wheel running apparently creates a CTA, this does not occur during ongoing AA. This finding generalized across age groups.
100. Potential Effects of Aggressive Videogames on Children and Young Adults’ Behavior and Physiology
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KENT D. SMALLWOOD (Western Michigan University), R. Wayne Fuqua (Western Michigan University), Joseph Charles Dagen (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The penetration and subsequent saturation of mass media in our society is occurring at an unprecedented rate. As of 1998, television sets had penetrated into 99.4% of American households (Andreasen, 2001). Accompanying this widespread consumer technological adoption has been an increase in research on the potential effects certain television programming might have on the thoughts and behaviors of children. The multitude of studies almost unanimously suggest some correlation between time spent watching violent acts on television, and subsequent aggressive behavior (Paik & Comstock, 1994).In contrast to the extensive research on televised violence, there is a scarcity of information on the impact of aggressive video games on youth. The experience of playing video games differs from the relatively passive viewing experience of television sufficiently to preclude extrapolation from the research on televised violence to the video gaming experience. Therefore, the purpose of this research project is to determine what short term effects, if any, result from people from two different age groups playing video games with violent/aggressive content. Participants will play one of two games that are matched on as many dimensions as possible other than the amount of aggressive content. The two groups will be boys age 12-14, and men aged 18-21.
101. Test Grades, Time Taken to Complete Tests, and Student Ratings of Test Difficulty
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FRANK HAMMONDS (Troy University)
Abstract: This poster will present the results of a study investigating the relationships between test grades, time taken to complete the tests, and students’ ratings of the tests’ difficulty. Students in several undergraduate provided this information as they turned in tests taken in class. The study is ongoing at this time. The data so far suggest that important relationships may exist between the variables, particularly grades and time taken to complete the tests.
102. EAHB-SIG Student Paper Award Winner: The Effects of Multiple Tact and Receptive-Discrimination Training on Acquisition of Intraverbal Behavior
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CAIO F. MIGUEL (New England Center for Children), Anna I. Petursdottir (Western Michigan University), James E. Carr (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether multiple-tact training and receptive-discrimination training could be used to teach thematically related vocal intraverbals to preschool children. Multiple-tact training involved teaching a child to name both the item and the category to which the item belonged. Receptive-discrimination training consisted of teaching a child to select a picture card in the presence of a question from the experimenter regarding the term or its category. When neither of these strategies resulted in substantial increases in intraverbal responses, a typical intraverbal training protocol using tact prompts and fading was implemented. Six typically developing children participated in the study. A multiple-baseline design across word categories was used to evaluate the effects of the three training procedures. Results indicated that both multiple-tact and receptive-discrimination training had minimal effects on the strength of the intraverbal repertoire, whereas direct intraverbal training had a more substantial effect. The results provide some evidence of the functional independence of verbal operants, as well as the independence of the listener and speaker repertoires. Receptive-discrimination and multiple-tact training may have facilitated acquisition of intraverbals; however, further research is needed to assess how these repertoires might interact with each other.Faculty Advisor: James E. Carr (Western Michigan University)
103. Transitions in the Functional Properties of Different Interactive Episodes During Language Acquisition
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
IVETTE ROSA VARGAS (University of Guadalajara), Emilio Ribes Iñesta (University of Guadalajara), Carmen Quintana (University of Guadalajara)
Abstract: We analyzed three different functional properties (distance, functional detachment, and mediation) in several episodes of mother-child interaction. The aim of this study was to identify transitions in such functional properties during language acquisition. One mother-infant dyad was filmed periodically at home in a free-play situation. Four recordings of 30 minutes each were analyzed (while the child was from 33- to 54- month old). Each sample was divided in episodes and categorized according to distance, funtional detachment, and mediation. Data are discussed in terms of the differences in functional properties along the episodes and their implications for language acquisition.
104. Sensitivity to Molar Contingencies of Food Presentation
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JEFFREY J. EVERLY (West Virginia University), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Abstract: This experiment was conceived as a positive-reinforcement extension of Herrnstein and Hineline’s (1966) classic study of negative reinforcement by shock frequency reduction. Twelve rats were exposed to two variable-time schedules that differed in their rates of food delivery. The “imposed” schedule was normally in effect, but by pressing a lever the rats could occasionally switch to the “alternate” schedule for varying periods averaging 30 s. The increase in food frequency afforded by switching from the imposed schedule to the alternate was manipulated across conditions. Each condition was conducted without stimuli signaling the schedules (as in Herrnstein and Hineline’s study) as well as with stimuli. For most rats, response rates were directly related to the size of the increase in food frequency, and this effect was enhanced when stimuli were correlated with the schedules. The effect of the stimuli notwithstanding, the results are consistent with the molar view that behavior can be sensitive to temporally extended changes in stimulus events. Additional analyses indicate that the results are better understood in terms of the relative change in food frequency rather than the absolute change.
105. Functional Analysis and Treatment of Typical Problem Behaviors in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HOLLY L. BIHLER (Southern Illinois University), Jeffrey E. Dillen (Southern Illinois University), Ashton J. Robinson (Southern Illinois University), Kimberly Moore (Southern Illinois University), Jennifer A. Delaney (Southern Illinois University), John M. Guercio (Center for Comprehensive Services, Inc.)
Abstract: The utilization and efficacy of standard functional analyses has been well documented resulting in an increase in its application to individuals with traumatic brain injury. Low-rate high-intensity behaviors are commonly observed yet rarely researched within this population. Differing opinions have been published on the appropriate functional analysis methodology (i.e. standard v. brief), particularly for this mode of behavior. The current study implemented a naturalistic standard functional analysis protocol to determine the function of typical problem behaviors (e.g. depressive statements, complaints of injury) and low-rate high-intensity problem behaviors of individuals with traumatic brain injury. Identifiable functions were determined in each participant and subsequent function-based treatments were implemented and evaluated. A substantial decrease in the maladaptive behaviors of all participants was observed accompanied by an increase in corresponding constructive behaviors. Results in relation to previous recommendations are critiqued and implications are discussed.
106. Evaluation of an Instructional Situation Under Three Linguistic Modes in Schoolchildren and University Students
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
IDANIA ZEPEDA (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Julio Varela (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Maria Luisa Avalos (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Carlos Martinez (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Sucel Moran (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Maria Antonia Padilla (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico), Pablo Covarrubias (Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico)
Abstract: The aim of this study was to compare the performance of schoolchildren and university students trained according to five different instructional situations: 1) reading a text printed on paper, 2) reading a text presented on a computer screen, 3) listening to a tape, 4) observing illustrations printed on paper, and 5) observing illustrations presented on a computer screen. Eighty students were trained and pre-post evaluations were conducted. Performance for all schoolchildren was under expected. The university students trained with the instructional situation of reading a text on paper, obteined the highest scores.
107. Amount of Training, Transfer of Speed, and Class Mergers via Conditional Discriminations
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ABDULRAZAQ A. IMAM (John Carroll University)
Abstract: Eleven participants demonstrated two independent groups of three seven-member equivalence classes, one with and one without a speed contingency, using 6-, 12-, or 15-trial training blocks. Participants then experienced transfer training and testing. During transfer training, either the three A-stimuli (for two participants; Transfer 1) or only A1 and A2 stimuli (for other two participants; Transfer 2) from the speed classes served as sample for the A-stimuli from the non-speed classes. Irrespective of amount of training, transfer tests involving all the remaining non-speed class members showed substantial increases in the response speeds of the non-speed class members suggesting mergers of the speed and non-speed equivalence classes. Similar increases for the Class-3 members in Transfer 2, however, raise questions about the independence of class members.
108. Training Structure in the Formation of Equivalence
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JEANETTE E. WILSON (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Maureen Theresa Aro (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Natalie Jacome (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Two experiments examined the differences in acquisition, equivalence class formation, and novel probe performance as a function of different training structures and different nodal stimuli. Children ages 4-11 years learned 8 baseline conditional discrimination involving stimuli with 1, 2, 3, or 4 class-relevant features and three trigrams. Children in Experiment 1 were trained using a many-to-one structure with the trigram as node and a one-to-many structure with the trigram as node. Children in Experiment 2 were trained with the many-to-one training structure. Some children were trained first with the trigram as node while other children had the 2-feature stimuli as the node. Older children (7-11 year olds) showed typicality effects such as fewer errors involving stimuli with more relevant features, both in the acquisition and equivalence-class performance; younger children (under 7 years) did not show these effects. The data so far show that training structure seemed to have no effect on the acquisition of conditional discriminations, as trained here. The nodal stimuli may have had some effect on conditional discrimination acquisition. 2-feature nodal stimuli facilitated acquisition of conditional discrimination in which feature matching was possible, but did not promote acquisition when feature matching was not possible.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh