Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #63
CE Offered: BACB

Repetitive Behavior in Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Clinical and Translational Findings

Saturday, May 24, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W375e (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: SCI; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Iser Guillermo DeLeon, Ph.D.
Chair: Iser Guillermo DeLeon (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
MARK HENRY LEWIS (University of Florida)
Dr. Lewis joined the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida in 1992 as an associate professor of psychiatry and neuroscience. He completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology graduating magna cum laude at Bowdoin College, a master’s degree in psychology at Western Michigan University, and a doctorate in psychology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Lewis also completed postdoctoral training in neuropharmacology at the University of North Carolina. He is currently associate chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry, a professor of psychiatry, neuroscience, and psychology and the executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at UF. Dr. Lewis is a highly respected member of some of the most prestigious federal peer review groups including chair of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the Special Emphasis Panel on Chronic Aberrant Behavior and a member of the NICHD Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers, the NIMH ARRA Autism Review, and the Department of Defense Autism Research Program. He is also an ad hoc reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lewis is on the External Advisory Board for the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center at the University of North Carolina and the editorial review boards for the American Journal on Mental Retardation and the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities. Dr. Lewis is a highly respected teacher and faculty adviser mentoring many students in the field of research. He is the recipient of the Georgia Department of Human Resources Educational Stipend Award, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Exceptional Merit Award, and the Frank Porter Graham Innovative Research Award.

Aberrant repetitive behaviors (e.g., stereotypies, compulsions, and rituals) are diagnostic for autism and frequently observed in related neurodevelopmental disorders. Despite this, relatively little is known about the neurobiological mechanisms that mediate the development and expression of these repetitive behaviors. This lack of knowledge precludes effective early intervention and prevention strategies. Clinical studies have provided only very limited findings based on a small number of neuroimaging and genetic studies. Moreover, there is little evidence for the efficacy of pharmacotherapy for repetitive behaviors in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Valid animal models can aid substantially in identifying pathophysiological factors mediating aberrant repetitive behavior and aid in treatment development.The talkwill review findings from animal models of repetitive behavior, highlighting environmental factors and the role of altered cortical-basal ganglia circuitry in the development and expression of these behaviors. Dr. Lewis also will review pharmacological studies that have identified novel potential therapeutic targets for clinical drug development.

Keyword(s): neurobiological mechanisms , neurodevelopmental disorders, pharmacotherapy, repetitive behaviors



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