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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Paper Session #265
Behavior Analysis and Neuroscience
Sunday, May 30, 2010
3:30 PM–3:50 PM
Lone Star Ballroom Salon C (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EAB
Chair: Ewa Pawul (Long Island University)
Serial Seizures Can Cause Long-Term Elevations in Avoidance Behavior and May Impair Auditory Discriminations
Domain: Experimental Analysis
EWA PAWUL (Long Island University), John C. Neill (Long Island University)
Abstract: Children who suffer seizures are at risk for learning disabilities, mental retardation and autism, and they may display high levels of avoidance behaviors that interfere with learning adaptive behaviors. We compared the effects of eight brief flurothyl-induced seizures versus control procedures administered on postnatal days 6-9 on avoidance behaviors in rats (N=40, control n=20, seizure n=20). In adulthood, the seizure animals had significantly higher levels of avoidance behaviors than control animals in the Elevated Plus Maze (observations: 5 min/rat). Seizure animals engaged in less exploratory behaviors by making fewer head poking, lapping, and entries into the center and open compartments and they spent a greater amount of time in the closed arms and displaying sedentary behavior (p<.05; IOA>90%). Our current work extends our earlier findings (Neill et al., 1996) that a few serial seizures early in development cause an increase in avoidance behaviors that interfere with learning auditory discriminations (data being collected). A few brief serial seizures early in life are especially likely in premature infants, neonates, and young children, and the seizures may go unnoticed, but their effects may become particularly evident in avoidance behaviors that interfere with learning three term contingencies, auditory discriminations, language acquisition and social development.



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