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.

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36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

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Symposium #35
Temporally Extended Influences on Behavior
Saturday, May 29, 2010
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: David P. Jarmolowicz (West Virginia University)
Abstract: A given response is often influenced by a number of variables. Although many of these influences are immediate, others are removed from responding by seconds, minutes, or even days. Furthermore, these influences can come from experimental events that occur either before, or after the responses of concern. These temporally removed influences often interact with more immediate contingencies to generate unique patterns of choice and/or performance. Although considerable attention has been given to the more immediate influences, these temporally extended influences, and the way which they interact with immediate consequences have gathered less research attention. The current talks focus on these sorts of temporally extended influences and the way that they interact with more immediate consequences. In the first talk, the influence of behavioral history on subsequent responding is examined. Next, using a concurrent chains procedure, effects of the proportion of short intervals in the terminal link on initial link preference for random interval schedules is examined. Next, the influence of the temporally removed increase in ratio requirement associated with ratio completion on progressive ratio schedules is examined. Lastly, factors that influence the maintaince of interval initiating responses, which never receive immediate reinforcement, are examined.
 
Stimulus Control and Generalization of Remote History Effects
HIROTO OKOUCHI (Osaka Kyoiku University), Akira Sonoda (Osaka Kyoiku University), Taichi Nakamae (Osaka Kyoiku University)
Abstract: Undergraduates firstly responded frequently under a fixed-ratio (FR) schedule in the presence of one line length (16 mm or 31 mm) and infrequently on a differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL) 10-s schedule when a second line length (31 mm or 16 mm) was present. Values of the FR were adjusted so that interreinforcer intervals (IRIs) of the FR were similar to those of the DRL. Secondly, a continuous reinforcement was in effect under either stimulus and produced comparative response rates between the stimulus conditions. Thirdly, a fixed-interval (FI) schedule was in effect under those same stimuli (Experiment 1) or under 12 line lengths ranging from 7 to 40 mm (Experiment 2). The FI value was determined by averaging the mean IRIs of the FR and DRL schedules. In both experiments, responses under the FI schedule were frequent in the presence of stimuli physically similar to those previously correlated with the FR schedule and infrequent in the presence of stimuli physically similar to those previously correlated with the DRL schedule.
 
The Effects of Probabilistic Reinforcer Delay on Preference and Temporal Discrimination in Concurrent Chains Schedules
MICHELLE ENNIS SORETH (Rowan University), Alexander A. Ward (Rowan University)
Abstract: It has recently been demonstrated that preference for a particular situation is sensitive to the probability of obtaining the smallest delay to reinforcer availability within that situation, even if that delay is longer than the delay readily available on an alternative schedule (Soreth & Hineline, 2009). To further examine the nature of this relation, four pigeons were exposed to a concurrent-chains arrangement with fixed interval (FI) and random interval (RI) terminal links. The RI schedule was arranged such that the minimum possible delay was never shorter than that available on the FI, the rate of reinforcement and smallest interval length available were held constant across all conditions, and the probability of obtaining the smallest component interval was manipulated across conditions. A peak procedure was later embedded in the terminal links, allowing for the simultaneous comparison of the effects of the probability of the minimum delay on both temporally discriminated behavior and preference for the terminal link schedules. A lag analysis revealed that the delays to reinforcer availability experienced early in a daily experimental session influenced preference and temporal discrimination, accounting for much of the between-session variability observed in each condition.
 
Progressive Ratio Schedules: Effects of Increasing Ratio Requirements on Preference and Breakpoints
DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: On a progressive ratio (PR) schedule, the response requirement typically increases for subsequent reinforcers. As such, ratio competition has at least two consequences; the delivery of a reinforcer, and an increase in the response requirement for the next reinforcer. Although the delivery of a reinforcer is an immediate consequence, contact with the increased ratio requirement is temporally separated from previous ratio completion. In a series of experiments, we examined if pigeons could discriminate this increase in ratio requirement, and if so, does the frequency of this increase affect breakpoints. In our first experiment, concurrent PR schedules were arranged such that the completion of a ratio requirement on one alternative increased the ratio requirement for both alternatives, whereas ratio completion on the other alternative was not associated with an increase in ratio requirement on either alternative. Pigeons preferred the alternative that was not associated with increased ratio requirements. In our second experiment, we determined if breakpoints were systematically affected by increases in ratio requirement that occurred after every reinforcer, after every fourth reinforcer, or across days. The highest breakpoints were observed when the ratio requirement increased after each reinforcer.
 
Immediate and Delayed Consequences of Reinforced Responses on Interval Schedules of Reinforcement
Todd M. Myers (United States Army Medical Research Institute), KENNON A. LATTAL (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Although responding is typically maintained by delivery of reinforcers, responses which never produce reinforcers can also be maintained. For example, responses that initiate interval schedules may be maintained despite the absence of primary reinforcement for their occurrence. The present study was designed to control and maintain responding by an interval-initiating contingency across various levels of reinforcer immediacy. A peck to one key, the enabling key, initiated an interval timer. A peck to the other key, the food key, produced access to food only if the prescribed interval had elapsed. To minimize the role of conditioned reinforcement in the maintaince of the enabling response, we provided no exteroceptive stimulus change. Furthermore, to control contiguity between the enabling peck and a reinforced food-key peck, a changeover delay was used. Thus, pecking the food key was reinforced only if a) at least one enabling key response had occurred since the last reinforcer, b) the interval had elapsed, and c) the COD had elapsed. To study the role of contiguity on performance, the durations of the interval and COD were manipulated in a within subjects fashion.
 

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