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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Poster Session #60
VRB Poster Session
Sunday, September 29, 2019
5:30 PM–7:00 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 4, Balcony

Verbal Behavior Mapp: Clinical Relevance and Coherence With Other Measures in Three Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Center-Based Treatment in Brazil

Area: VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
LUIZA HÜBNER (Behavior Analysis Hübner Center (BAHC)), Ana Paula Parise (Behavior Analysis Hübner Center (BAHC) ), Bruna Baumgartner (Behavior Analysis Hübner Center (BAHC)), Wederson Chagas (Behavior Analysis Hübner Center)

The objective of the present study is to describe positive behavior changes of three kids with three to five years old, diagnosed with ASD, submitted to intensive ABA early intervention at a center in São Paulo, Brazil. Verbal Behavior Mapp (VBM) is going to be presented as a Pre and Post test measure, describing children' long term evolutions and its coherence with percentage of correct responses during training of different operants, in two years. Although VBM was published in 2007 (Sundberg), studies are necessary to show its clinical relevance in predicting areas to be taught and its relation with other behavioral measures. In the present study, VBM was applied by a behavior analyst, before the child started the program. This first evaluation specified the main areas to work with the child. During the intensive early intervention therapy, daily measures of the child's performance were taken. Every six months of ABA therapy , VBM was applied again. Data of three children will be presented (P1, P2 and P3) along two years of treatment in two types of measures: VBM and percentage of correct responses per sessions. Results shows that operants evaluated through VBM as weak in the first evaluation were those that showed, in the continuous measures daily taken, occurrence of a shaping process during trainings. Such comparisons show that VBM has clinical relevance and it is also a predictor of child' s performance during training. VBM also demonstrates behavior change in a synthetic way for long periods of behavior therapy.


Reduction of Inappropriate Vocalizations Through Training in Verbal Operants

Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Mats Jarness (Agency for Social and Welfare Services, Municipality of Oslo ), Petur Ingi Petursson (Agency for Social and Welfare Services, Municipality of Oslo), Sigmund Eldevik (Oslo Metropolitan Universrity), KRISTINE SOLBREKKE RYEN (Ullevålsveien 34)

We aimed to assess the function of the inappropriate vocalizations of an adult male with autism and informing a behavioral treatment for establishing more functional verbal operants. The client was a male in his thirties who presented with multiple challenging behaviors. An interview-informed synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA) demonstrated that the function of the aberrant speech was attention. Treatment was matched to the attention function and involved establishing verbal operants with a treatment package containing verbal operant training, a token economy and differential reinforcement. The effect of treatment was analyzed with a multiple probe design across two settings. Treatment resulted in significant reduction in aberrant speech, and an increase in functional verbal behavior for the client. We argue that a verbal behavior based treatment that is informed by an IISCA may be a viable treatment alternative for adults who present with multiple challenging behaviors.

46. The Effects of Subtle Pre-Experimental History on Speech Perception
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
RODRIGO DAL BEN (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Débora Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Jessica Hay (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Abstract: Subtle discriminative stimuli, such as transitional probability (TP) and phonotactical probability (PP) from words’ syllables, have been shown to control word discrimination. Here, we investigated if stimuli from pre-experimental (PP) history have an effect on word discrimination. Brazilian-Portuguese-speaking adults (n=81) were familiarized to one of four artificial languages and tested on words vs. part-words using a two-alternative forced-choice procedure. Each language contained six two-syllable words (TP=1) and its syllables’ recombinations generated six part-words (TP=0.2). Furthermore, in Languages 1 and 2, words’ PPs were unbalanced during familiarization (0.0073 vs. 0.0085), but balanced during test (0.0085, 0.0073, respectively). Both groups discriminated words above chance, despite differences in PP. However, these very differences may have provided additional discriminative stimuli for the task. In Languages 3 and 4, PPs were balanced during familiarization (0.0085, 0.0073, respectively), but unbalanced during test (0.0073 vs. 0.0085). Participants that heard Language 3 failed to discriminate words, and those that heard Language 4 discriminated it more poorly when compared to performance from Languages 1 and 2. Results suggest that subtle differences in phonotactics function as discriminative stimuli that may control speech perception and suggest a need to consider participants’ pre-experimental history carefully when selecting stimuli for verbal behavior research.
47. Teaching Individuals to Identify Common Topics of Interests
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
STEPHANIE A. HOOD (California State University, Northridge), Stephanie Monroy (California State University, Northridge), Francesca Randle (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Jesey Gopez (California State University, Northridge)
Abstract: Abstract: Individuals with social and conversation skills deficits often have deficits discriminating vocal and nonvocal cues of interest and uninterest from their conversation partner(s). In the present study, we taught individuals to converse about preferred and less preferred topics of conversation, discriminate when the conversation partner is no longer interested in the topic of discussion, to discriminate common interests, and to end the conversation using behavioral skills training. Stimulus generalization was assessed through conversations with novel conversation partners. We assessed the social acceptability rating from the participants and the conversation partners. We observed robust increases in following the conversation, changing the topic of conversation, ending the conversation, and tacting common interests with the trainer. In addition, we have observed high levels of stimulus generalization across all skills with novel conversation partners. However, we have observed over generalization of tacts of common interests with the trainer to tacts of common interests with the novel conversation partners, thus, we had to teach participants how to discriminate common interests with multiple conversation partners. We effectively taught the participants to discriminate the common interest and we observed similar effects when conversing with novel adults.
48. Evolution of Shared Stimulus-Response Functions in Cooperation Task
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
WILL FLEMING (University of Nevada, Reno), Osmar Lopez (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In his book Cultural Psychology (1982), J. R. Kantor characterizes cultural fields as consisting of shared stimulus-response functions (SSRFs) acquired over the lifetime of individuals. The purpose of this project was to examine patterns in behavior segments as SSRFs evolve and factors that contribute to changes in such patterns. Participant dyads completed a computerized turn-based cooperative game at different computer terminals where they could not communicate except through the program. Each trial consisted of (1) a player selecting a originally arbitrary stimulus from an array with a particular contextual stimulus present (i.e., a shape), (2) the other player selecting a shape from an array with the stimulus the first player selected present, and (3) both players receiving feedback on how much money they earned. Experimental conditions varied in reward amounts for corresponding responses (i.e., responses in which the second player selects the shape stimulus that was present on the first player’s screen) and non-corresponding responses, as well as the discriminability of reward amount changes (i.e., whether the reward amount for corresponding responses changed across conditions). Results elucidate patterns of responding that develop during the acquisition of SSRFs and factors that both contribute to the persistence and discrimination of SSRFs.



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