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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #511
Translational Evaluations of Basic Findings: Bridging Research and Concepts to Practice
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Grand Suite 3, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: DDA/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Katherine Hoffman (University of Texas)

Translational research has been described as part of a bidirectional continuum in which an emphasis is placed on the bridging basic laboratory work and applied research in terms of discoveries, mechanisms, and concepts. In this symposium, three papers will be presented describing evaluations that translated basic findings and concepts pertaining to renewal, resurgence, and differential-reinforcement-of-low-rates-of-responding (DRL) within human operant experimental preparations as well as with clinical populations within more applied/translational experimental arrangements. In the first paper, Clare Liddon and colleagues evaluate both ABA and ABC renewal of previously extinguished behavior on a within-subjects basis. In the second paper, Jessica Becraft and colleagues present the results of two comparative evaluations of the effects of two variations of DRL procedures entailing the presence or absence of discriminative stimuli during the procedure. In the third paper, Katherine Hoffman and colleagues present data on the effects of the presence of alternative stimuli on the resurgence of previously extinguished responding in individuals with developmental disabilities.

Keyword(s): DRL, renewal, resurgence, translational research
A Within-Subjects Analysis of ABA and ABC Renewal of Operant Behavior
CLARE LIDDON (Florida Institute of Technology), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Catalina Rey (Florida Institute of Technology), Ashley Abel (Therapist), Aurelia Ribeiro (Florida Tech)
Abstract: Treatment for problem behavior is often challenged when transferred to the natural environment (e.g., errors in treatment integrity or exposure to a new environment). Such challenges may result in treatment relapse (i.e., the recurrence of a previously treated problem behavior). Renewal is a type of treatment relapse resulting from changes in stimulus contexts. There are varying arrangements of renewal, including ABA and ABC. Previous research demonstrates ABA renewal may occur in the operant behavior of children diagnosed with autism. In the present series of studies, we conducted a translational analysis to establish a proof of concept for both ABA and ABC renewal, and establish whether these two renewal arrangements may be present in a single participant’s behavior (i.e., establish a within-subject analysis). An analysis of the results shows evidence of both ABA and ABC renewal effects, and both types of renewal present in individual participants’ behavior.
Slow Down: Further Comparison of Differential-Reinforcement-of-Low-Rate Procedures
JESSICA BECRAFT (UMBC), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Barbara J. Davis (UMBC & Little Leaves Behavioral Services), Amber E. Mendres-Smith (University of Maryland, Baltimore County), Mariana I. Castillo (UMBC), Joshua Jessel (Child Study Center)
Abstract: The goal of differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate of responding (DRL) is to decrease the overall rate of, but not eliminate, the response. Two variations of DRL exist. However, one may eliminate, rather than decrease, the target response. We directly compared the two DRL procedures and evaluated the role of discriminative stimuli (SD). In Experiment 1, 19 college students played a computer game in which they could earn points according to DRL schedules. Sometimes, SDs signaled when participants should and should not respond to earn points. Other times, the stimulus did not change with the schedule and was correlated with extinction. Most participants responded near optimal levels when SDs were present and near zero levels with the extinction-correlated stimulus. In Experiment 2, we replicated the procedure and results of Experiment 1 with 5 preschool students. In Experiments 1 and 2, the no SD stimulus was correlated with no reinforcement. In Experiment 3, we replicated Experiment 2 with 5 preschool students and evaluated a neutral stimulus. Responding was highly variable with the neutral stimulus. Results of all three experiments suggest that the DRL schedules may function similarly, but that SDs are important to maintain optimal response rates.

An Evaluation of the Effects of the Presence of Alternative Stimuli on Resurgence

KATHERINE HOFFMAN (University of Texas), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Samantha Swinnea (The University of Texas at Austin)

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the presence of low-preferred items during phase 3 on the resurgence of a previously taught communication response in persons with developmental disabilities and communication delays. To set up the phase 3 experimental condition, we implemented two phases consistent with the resurgence paradigm including (1) the reinforcement of communication response 1 and (2) extinction of communication response 1 and reinforcement of communication response 2. During the third phase, we applied extinction to all communicative responses and they extinguished across conditions; and we rapidly alternated every two minutes between to conditions in which (a) two low-preferred items were available and (b) no items were available. Results indicated that considerably lower levels of resurgence of communication response 1 occurred during the phase 3 condition in which low-preferred items were available for some participants. Results will be discussed in terms of implications for the possible prevention and/or mitigation of treatment relapse pertaining to challenging behavior.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh