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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #524
Matching-to-Sample Procedure in Children With and Without Developmental Disabilities
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Republic A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Vinca Riviere (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3)
Discussant: William V. Dube (University of Maryland Medical System)
Abstract: A conditional discrimination is a second order discrimination in which a response to a discriminative stimulus is reinforced only if another (conditional) stimulus is present. Conditional discrimination is often studied with a two-choice arbitrary matching-to-sample (MTS) procedure (Saunders & Spradlin, 1989). MTS procedure is widely used in applied and in fundamental settings in order to teach stimulus-stimulus relations among words, objects or pictures. In our studies, we conducted researches with children with and without developmental disabilities using MTS procedure, to test for the emergence of equivalence classes, to discriminate among facial expressions or to teach quantity discrimination. As pointed out in the literature, MTS baselines are difficult to teach with these populations. We encountered some methodological issues and sometimes subjects failed to acquire conditional discrimination. So we implemented specific learning procedures to facilitate baselines acquisition. This symposium is seen as an occasion to show our data and to discuss about the use of MTS with young children and to improve training outcomes.
Equivalence Relations and Matching-to-Sample in Children and Children With Developmental Disabilities
NORA GIEZEK (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3), Vinca Riviere (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3), Jean-Claude Darcheville (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3)
Abstract: This experiment was built to exhibit emergence of Equivalence relation using a Matching To Sample (MTS) procedure in typical children and in children with developmental disabilities (autism). Two sets of stimuli were used (A1, B1, C1 and A2, B2, C2). One sample and two comparisons were presented in a trial. Four baseline relations had to be learned (A1B1, B1C1, A2B2 and B2C2).All experimental sessions were computerized. In order to facilitate learning, sets of stimuli were firstly presented separately. Then participants faced the two sets of stimuli mixed together following the same design: first A-B relations, then B-C and at last all four relations mixed together. Symmetry (B-A, C-B also C-A) and transitivity (A-C) were tested. Typical children (3 and 6 years old) had high accuracy on unreinforced test trials for both classes whereas the 7 children with developmental disabilities (4 to 14 years old) showed either difficulties in training phases or no emergent properties at all. Performances in testing for two 4 year participants with autism were either 100% correct for one set of stimuli or below chance level for the other. These data could be analyzed in terms of overselectivity and resistance to change.
Facial Expression Discrimination Using Matching-to-Sample Procedure in Children With and Without Developmental Disabilities
STEPHANIE COUSIN (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3), Vinca Riviere (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3), Alan Chauvin ( University Of Grenoble), Jean-Claude Darcheville (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3)
Abstract: People with autism show impaired face discrimination, along with atypical eye gazes to the face. However, only few studies describe precisely how children with autism process social cues from faces. The goal of our research was to determine which parts of the face are used by children with or without developmental disabilities to discriminate a happy and a fearful expression, using the Bubbles technique (Gosselin & Schyns, 2001). First, a computerized matching to sample (MTS) training was implemented in order to obtain a differential response for each facial expression. Subjects were first taught to select a stimulus A (for example, a happy face) in presence of a stimulus B, then to select C in presence of D. Once the accuracy criterion was reached for both tasks separately, the two tasks were mixed. For the test phase, the procedure was identical but the samples were faces partially revealed by randomly located holes, the bubbles. During the MTS training, conditional discrimination failed to appear without explicit instructions. In order to test children without verbal skills, we designed a new MTS procedure where the symmetrical relations are reinforced. Results regarding this procedure and the test phase will be discussed.
Children's Concept Formation: Successive and Simultaneous Discrimination Task Acquisition
VIRGINIE HUS (Universite de Lille Charles de Gaulle), Vinca Riviere (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3), Jean-Claude Darcheville (Universite de Charles de Gaulle - Lille 3)
Abstract: In a previous research, children without numersity were trained with two procedures, sequential and simultaneous discrimination tasks. The results showed that they were able to discriminate the stimulus numerosities not only when the samples were presented simultaneously but also in the sequential discrimination task, but significantly more important in the simultaneous task. How explain these results? How make the children to discriminate the quantities? What controls their behavior in such kind of tasks? We know that the number is always expressed in sequential; it is the sequences of behavior which make the quantity. Data indicating less accurate matching-to-sample with fixed interval as compared to fixed-ratio schedules (Dews, 1963; Ferster, 1960) suggested that the differential reinforcement of all responses could be an important factor in controlling the distribution of responses to the stimuli. That’s why we reproduce a Mintz and Al’s experiment done in 1968 where Fixe ratio schedules are compared. Children were maintained on a fixed ratio (FR) schedule of reinforcement for correct matching-to-sample responses. Included in the test situation was a horizontal array of lights, illuminated in relation to the successive steps of the fixed ratio.



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