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

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Symposium #314
Recent Developments in Conditioned Reinforcement and Drugs
Monday, May 30, 2005
10:00 AM–11:20 AM
Lake Ontario (8th floor)
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Bethany R. Raiff (University of Florida)
Discussant: Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University)
Abstract: This symposium will cover recent developments in the relationship between drugs and their correlated, non-pharmacological stimuli. The first presentation (Koffarnus and Katz) will address effects of stimulant drugs on responding in second order schedules, while the second presentation (Raiff and Dallery) will discuss effects of nicotine on responding using the observing procedure. Finally, the third presentation (Roll, Reilly, and Johanson) will examine the influence of drug-associated consequences on the reinforcing properties of the drugs themselves.
Stimulant and Non-stimulant Effects on Responding During Second-Order Schedules of Food Reinforcement in Pigeons
MIKHAIL KOFFARNUS (National Institute on Drug Abuse), Jonathan L. Katz (National Institute on Drug Abuse /NIH /DHHS)
Abstract: An increase in the effects of conditioned reinforcement has been suggested as a mechanism for the increases in operant responding produced by psychomotor stimulant drugs. The current experiment attempted to independently assess the effects of psychomotor stimulant drugs on rates of operant responding and a potential effect on conditioned reinforcement. Six pigeons were trained to respond under second-order schedules of reinforcement with brief stimulus presentations paired with food delivery [FI 5-min(FR 10:S)]. The brief stimulus presentations within the second-order schedule were then replaced with stimuli not paired with any reinforcer. Data will be presented describing the effects on responding produced by cocaine, d-amphetamine, and pentobarbital administered before sessions.
Effects of Nicotine on Food/Extinction and Observing Responses in Rats
BETHANY R. RAIFF (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: The non-pharmacological stimuli associated with smoking may be important in smoking maintenance, and have been shown to enhance nicotine self-administration in non-humans. However, the direct effects of nicotine on responding maintained by these stimuli (i.e., conditioned reinforcers) have not been explicitly studied. The current experiment used the observing-response procedure to study the acute and chronic effects of nicotine on lever pressing maintained by food and conditioned reinforcers (i.e., lights), and lever pressing in the absence of programmed consequences (i.e., extinction). Four rats served as subjects. Food-maintained responses during the acute phase did not change, but increased for three of four subjects at the intermediate doses during the chronic phase. Relative to vehicle, intermediate doses of nicotine increased observing-responses for three of the four subjects during the acute phase and for all subjects after chronic exposure. There were no significant changes in response rates during extinction for either the acute or chronic phase. The results suggest that nicotine enhances responding maintained by conditioned reinforcers, and possibly by food, but does not affect responding during periods of extinction.
Drugs as Conditioned Reinforcers
JOHN M. ROLL (Washington State University, Friends Research Institute), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University), Chris-Ellyn Johanson (Wayne State University)
Abstract: Drugs of abuse have often been shown to confer reinforcing efficacy onto stimuli that are associated with their consumption. We have been investigating a related, yet conceptually different, aspect of this relation; namely, to what extent can the reinforcing (or punishing) events that follow drug consumption alter the reinforcing efficacy of the drug. That is, can the events that follow drug consumption serve to increase or decrease the drug’s reinforcing efficacy via a process of conditioned reinforcement? We will discuss data on this topic garnered from laboratory studies conducted with humans self- administering, placebo, diazepam or ethanol. Results suggest that the reinforcing efficacy of placebo and diazepam are readily increased by pairing their consumption with the perception of enhanced performance and monetary gain. Results for alcohol are more equivocal, perhaps suggesting that prior experience with a certain drug may produce some resistance to alteration in the drug’s reinforcing efficacy via a conditioned reinforcement process. Finally, we will conclude by discussing the clinical and prevention implications of these data.



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