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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #495
Some Advances on the Experimental Analysis of Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2022
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 152
Area: EAB/PCH; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Varsovia Hernandez Eslava Eslava (Universidad Veracruzana)

A thorough description of the behavioral continuum and how it is affected by contingencies of reinforcement and motivational variables could be accomplished by incorporating the analysis of discrete responses as well as displacement patterns. Studies in EAB usually focus on the rate of a particular response as the primary measure without integrating displacement patterns. Also, usually the contingencies of reinforcement are manipulated in different experimental conditions while the location stimuli presentation remain fixed. In the current symposium, we will describe three studies that seek to advance on the Experimental Analysis of Spatio-temporal Dynamics of Behavior. All studies were conducted with Wistar rats. Study 1 analyzes the function of a stimulus under four different conditions of constancy -variation in space (Fixed or Variable location of a water source) and time (FT or VT schedules) of a signaled water delivery. The second study analyzed the effects of motivational operations on dynamics of behavior under Concurrent Fixed Interval Schedules. The third study seeks to advance the analysis of behavioral dynamics in a conditional-place preference task with aversive stimulation. In all four studies, the integration of discrete and continuous measures of behavior was conducted in terms of the analysis of response rates, routes, distance to the dispenser, time spent in zones, recurrence patterns, entropy, and divergence measures. The implications of the proposed approach for the study of behavior will be described.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): behavioral continuum, rats, spatio-temporal dynamics, translational patterns

Does Spatial Variation of Stimuli Presentations Modulate Different Functions of Behavior Under a Similar Schedule Arrangement?

ALEJANDRO LEON (University of Veracruz), Fryda Abril Diaz (Universidad Veracruzana), Iyanu Torres (Universidad Veracruzana), Victor Quintero Rodriguez (Universidad Veracruzana), Isiris Guzmán (Universidad Veracruzana), Martha Avendaño-Garrido (Universidad Veracruzana), Porfirio Toledo (Universidad Veracruzana), Carlos Hernández-Linares (Universidad Veracruzana)

We analyzed behavioral dynamic and the function of a stimulus under four different conditions of constancy -variation in space (Fixed or Variable location of a water source) and time (FT or VT schedules) of a signaled water delivery. Subjects were 12 water-deprived Wistar rats. The apparatus was an enlarged experimental chamber with a water dispenser located at each wall of the chamber. Four different groups of subjects under a different combination of constant and varied location and constant and variable time schedules were conformed (3 subjects per group). A reversal design was used. In the first condition, stimulus-water presentations were delivered according to the programmed contingencies, in the second phase only the stimulus (sound) was presented under extinction, the third phase was a reversal to the first one. Discrete responses (head entries) and displacement patterns varied according to the programmed contingencies. The findings suggest that the stimulus acquires a different function on behavior depending on the temporal and spatial location of stimulus presentation. We discuss the determinants of different behavioral functions controlled by the stimuli presentation and its implications for the analysis of temporal and spatial dynamics of behavior.


Food and Water Deprivation in Rats: Multidimensional Effects on Behavior Under Contingent Schedules of Reinforcement

VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA (Universidad Veracruzana), Victor Rodriguez (Universidad Veracruzana), Alejandro Leon (University of Veracruz)

The effects of food and water deprivation have usually been studied through unidimensional analysis of behavior, typically with measures of response rates, food or water consumption, or changes in “activity”. The effects of the interaction of both deprivation conditions on behavioral dynamics analyzed considering these dimensions altogether are less known. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of four different conditions of food and water deprivation on the behavioral dynamics under a concurrent food and water-delivery schedule. Two rats were exposed to one of four deprivation conditions: a) water, b) food, c) water plus food, and d) no deprivation. The experimental sessions consisted of the delivery of a drop of water and a pellet on opposite walls of an extended experimental chamber under a CONC FI 30 s schedule. Discrete responses (lever pressures, head entries to dispensers) and displacement patterns (moment to moment changes in x, y coordinates) were recorded, and analyses derived from this data were conducted (rate of response, distance to dispensers, recurrence, entropy). Different effects of deprivation conditions on the different analyzed dimensions were found. We discuss the results in terms of the modulating function of deprivation conditions on different dimensions of the behavioral continuum.


Spatial Dynamics of Behavior and Conditional Place Preference With Ecologically Relevant Aversive Stimulation

ISIRIS GUZMÁN (Universidad Veracruzana), Alejandro Leon (University of Veracruz), Varsovia Hernandez Eslava (Universidad Veracruzana)

In studies developed under the paradigm of Conditional Place Preference (CPP), the experimental chamber is segmented using haptic and/or visual variations and an aversive event is consistently presented in one of the segments (pairing phase). Then, the preference for one of the segments is evaluated. Under this paradigm, arbitrary stimuli (e.g. electric shocks) tend to be used, which could produce high levels of behavioral activation and a consequent interference in the establishment of the conditional aversive function. Also, the predominant measure employed is time in zone, thus ignoring translation patterns that could be sensitive to those contingencies (León et al., 2021). The purpose of this study was to analyze the modulation of the spatial dynamics of behavior, under a CPP paradigm with ecologically relevant aversive stimulation (flooding). Sixteen Wistar rats were assigned to four experimental conditions, according to the number of segment-aversive stimulus pairings (1 to 4). Results show a differential effect of the number of pairings on a) the spatial dynamic of behavior in both segments; and b) the emergence of the conditional place preference. The plausibility and relevance of the measurements and representations proposed and the ecological approach are discussed.




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