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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #254
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Operants and Derived Stimulus Relations
Sunday, May 24, 2009
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
North 127
Area: VRB/EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Caio F. Miguel (California State University, Sacramento)
CE Instructor: Elise A. Stokes, M.Ed.
Abstract: This symposium presents basic and applied research on the emergence of novel verbal relations and novel stimulus-stimulus relations. Four studies will be presented, in which the participants were typically developing children or children diagnosed with autism. In all four studies, the training of topography-based verbal operants resulted in novel conditional discriminations, the training of conditional discriminations led to the emergence of topography-based verbal relations, or both. Applied and theoretical implications will be discussed.
The Effects of Multiple-Tact Training on the Emergence of Naming and Categorization by Children with Autism
CAIO F. MIGUEL (California State University, Sacramento), Vissy V Kobari (California State University, Sacramento), Katharine Woods Findlay (California State University, Sacramento)
Abstract: Recent studies have demonstrated that the skill of sorting objects or pictures by category develops with no direct training when typically-developing children learn to label pictures and objects with a common category name. This methodology is yet to be tested with children with developmental disabilities. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate whether multiple-tact training would produced novel categorization in children with autism. Participants included two children diagnosed with autism, ages 5 and 6. The effects of training were evaluated using a non-concurrent multiple-baseline across participants design. During pre and posttraining probes, participants were assessed on whether they would (1) correctly match pictures belonging to the same category (i.e., categorization) and (2) select the correct stimuli when hearing their category names (i.e., listener behavior). During multiple-tact training participants were taught to tact the name and category of nine pictures belonging to three different categories. Both children, who did not categorize or emit listener behaviors correctly during pretraining were able to do so during posttraining probes. These results suggest that multiple-tact training may be an efficient way to produce naming and categorization in children diagnosed with autism.
Intraverbal Naming and Emergent Visual-Visual Conditional Discriminations
ANNA I. PETURSDOTTIR (Texas Christian University), Charlotte Lynn Carp (Texas Christian University), Sean Peterson (Texas Christian University)
Abstract: Intraverbal relations between participant-supplied names have been proposed as a mechanism by which performance on stimulus equivalence tests might be facilitated. The present study evaluated the effects of experimenter-supplied intraverbal relations on children’s performance on a novel visual-visual match-to-sample (MTS) task. Tact training established a unique vocal response in the presence of each of six visual stimuli, A1, A2, A3, B1, B2 and B3. Intraverbal training then established intraverbal relations between the vocal stimuli associated with A1, A2, and A3 (presented by the experimenter) and the vocal responses associated with B1, B2, and B3 (emitted by the child), respectively. Subsequently, some participants passed visual-visual MTS tests of all AB and BA relations, but failed tests of the bidirectionality of the intraverbal relations. Further, response latencies on tests of trained intraverbal relations were longer than response latencies on MTS trials, and there was no evidence of participant-generated common naming. The most parsimonious interpretation appears to be that the emergent AB and BA relations were an outcome of prior tact and intraverbal training that did not require any verbal behavior on test trials.
Emergence of Opposite Intraverbals Related to Tacts of Concepts
LUIS A. PEREZ-GONZALEZ (University of Oviedo, Spain), Lorena Garcia Asenjo (University of Oviedo, Spain)
Abstract: Intraverbals can emerge after learning other intraverbals, but intraverbals are especially useful for a learner when they are the result of observing the non-verbal world. We analyzed the emergence of intraverbals of opposite relations (e.g., “What is the opposite of full” –“empty”) after (a) learning to tact pictures related to these concepts; (b) learning or showing the emergence of selecting these pictures when listening the word; (c) learning conditional discriminations involving the word “same” or “opposite”, a picture or a word related to a concept (e.g., an empty glass or the word “empty”), and pictures with these concepts (e.g., a full and an empty glass). Preschool children learned to tact and select figures with features related to the concepts, and the conditional discriminations. Intraverbals did not emerge initially. Some children showed the emergence of some intraverbals after learning others. Other children showed emergence of intraverbals only when novel concepts were taught and their corresponding intraverbals were probed. The results show that children demonstrate novel intraverbals after learning the concepts in the non-verbal world, when they are taught in the appropriate sequence. In other words, they generate novel language under the correct learning conditions.
Training Intraverbal Sign Language Using Stimulus Equivalence
JENNIFER MCGINTY (Stephen F. Austin State University), Glen L. McCuller (Stephen F. Austin State University), Shauna Swinney (Stephen F. Austin State University), Chris Ninness (Stephen F. Austin State University)
Abstract: Only a few empirical studies have been conducted to assess the best way to teach difficult concepts such as left and right (Lee, 1981; Lamarre & Holland, 1985; Dessalegn & Landau, 2008). The purpose of the current study was to expand on studies by Clarke, Remington, and Light (1986) and McCuller, Ninness, Rumph, and Eberle (2006) to teach three preschool children concepts of left,right, above, and below using stimulus equivalence procedures. The current study additionally aimed to test the use of generalized signing in novel situations. After being trained the relation between spoken word and picture and picture and ASL sign, participants were able to demonstrate symmetry and transitivity. Participants were also able to demonstrate generalized signing with 75% to 100% accuracy. Additionally, participants were able to maintain the initial relations learned with 66% to 100% accuracy at one week and one month follow-up. The findings from this study address the use of matching to sample procedures and the effectiveness of using stimulus equivalence and similar types of procedures directed at derived relational responding (e.g., RFT) to train difficult concepts such as left and right.



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