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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Poster Session #304
EAB Poster Session 3
Sunday, May 30, 2010
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
Exhibit Hall A (CC)
62. Correlation Between Measures of Conditioned and Unconditioned Anxiety in the Rat: Elevated Plus Maze Versus Fear Conditioning
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
SANTIAGO RESTREPO MARTÁNEZ (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana), Cristina I. Vargas-Irwin (Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz)
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to describe the association between measures of conditioned and unconditioned anxiety in the rat. Unconditioned anxiety-related behavior of these rodents was observed by means of the time spent in the enclosed arms of the elevated plus-maze while the time spent in the open arms will reflect a non anxious state of the animal. Other signals such as the number of fecal boli, and presence of urination were also recorded. The second phase of this research consisted in exposing the experimental subjects to a fear-conditioning paradigm, where an electric shock was paired to a blinking light. The freezing response during CS presentations was automatically scored, and taken as a measurement of conditioned anxiety. This study shows as well findings regarding the differences between anxiety-related behavior in males and females using all the measures obtained during the procedures described above.
63. Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Behavior Under Three Functionally Different Time-Based Schedules of Water Delivery
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MARIO SERRANO (Universidad Veracruzana), Emilio Ribes Iñesta (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
Abstract: The temporal (head-poking, lever-pressing, and accuracy) and the spatial (directionality, preference, variability, and effort) distribution of the behavior of rats were analyzed under noncontingent, contingent, or conditional-contingent temporal-defined schedules of water delivery in a regular size experimental enviroment. Both head-poking and lever-pressing adjusted to the temporal parameters of the schedules, wereas accuracy was near to the chance level across the experiment. Directionality and preference was similar between conditions of water delivery, while variability and effort were higher in the contingent condition. Results are disccussed in relation to previous studies conducted in our laboratory using a 92 x 92 cm chamber, as well as to experiments on stimulus-control, adjunctive behavior, timing, and conditional discrimination.
64. Does Early Tactile Stimulation Attenuate Adverse Effects of Maternal Separation in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
NANCY I. SALINAS (University of Texas Pan American), Frederick A. Ernst (University of Texas - Pan American), Robert Dearth (University of Texas - Pan American)
Abstract: Handling has been used as a stressor and a stress-protector in research on development in rats. Pre-treatment with tactile stimulation (TS), on the other hand, has consistently been shown to favorably affect the performance and exploratory behaviors of stressed rats in novel environments and this effect is usually interpreted as evidence of attenuating the emotional consequences of stress. We explored how TS affects behavior before experiencing maternal separation (MS) during a critical period of development. TS was defined by15-min/day of stroking using a soft brush. TS occurred during the earliest period of development (post-natal days 1-7). MS for 150 min/day was implemented post-natal days 8-21. Exploratory behavior in an open-field apparatus and break-point response to a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement were employed as dependent measures at juvenile/prepubertal (25 days) and adult (50 days) ages creating a three-way factorial design. It was hypothesized that early TS would attenuate the emotional effects of MS with TS rats revealing more exploratory behavior and a larger PR break point value. Discussion will focus on whether or not the adverse effects of stress in a later period of development can be prevented with enriched tactile experience in an earlier period of development.
65. Enabling Effect of the Verbal Written Response in a First-Order Matching-to-Sample
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Jairo Ernesto Tamayo Tamayo (Universidad de Guadalajara), Emilio Ribes (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara), MARIA ANTONIA PADILLA VARGAS (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
Abstract: The linguistic modes were classified into active (signalizing-gesturing, speaking, writing) and reactive (observing, reading, listening). Contact with stimulus in reactive forms can generate a set of functional conditions that allow the response in an active mode, which can be called enabling. Forty-eight people including students from high school, undergraduate psychology and professionals from different areas, men and women aged between 18 and 28 years participated. The experiments evaluated the enabling effect of the verbal written response in a first-order matching-to-sample procedure in which stimuli were presented in three reactive modalities depending on the experimental group. In all cases, the matching response was written. All reactive modalities enabled the matching-to-sample writing response. However, the data suggested that the observing mode enabled at a higher level the written matching response. Additionally, speaking modality combined with reactive modalities produce an interference effect. Also, prolonged exposure to the stimulus arrangements apparently affected the matching response in all cases. We concluded that it will be necessary to evaluate the enabling effect using second-order-matching-to-sample and other tasks that allow the participation and comparison of different linguistic modalities.
66. Application of Growth Curve Modeling to a Contingency Management Smoking Cessation Intervention
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
J. PHILIP ERB JR. (University of Florida), Bethany R. Raiff (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: Growth curve modeling (GCM) is a useful approach to characterize individual behavioral trajectories across time as a function of within-subject and between-subject factors. For example, GCM has been used to describe the acquisition of drug self-administration in rodents, and it highlighted the roles of several independent variables (e.g., schedule of reinforcement, drug dose, and sex) in altering the shape of the acquisition curve at an individual subject level. We examined the utility of GCM to characterize changes in smoking behavior of individuals participating in an internet-based contingency management intervention. Specifically, carbon monoxide (CO) value was hypothesized to be a quadratic function of time. Participant group (contingent or noncontingent) and a measure of nicotine dependence, the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence total score, were examined as static covariates. The phase of the study (baseline, tapering, treatment, or thinning) was examined as a time-varying covariate. Results suggest that a GCM may be a useful way to characterize the determinants of changes in smoking at an individual level.
67. The Effects of Variable Ratio Shock on Food Consumption in a Behavioral Economics Paradigm
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
NICOLE A. CAPIK (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Ayesha M. Revri (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Brian S. Coleman (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Wendy Donlin-Washington (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Operant behavior can be meaningfully examined through an “economic” paradigm. Behavioral economics integrates the traditional field of economics with behavioral principles, in an attempt to explain choice behavior by individuals across various prices. Reinforcers are framed as commodities, responses as costs, with total consumption serving as an important endpoint. The current study characterizes the effects of variable-ratio shock on consumption of a food reinforcer in rats. This type of arrangement may be useful in the examination of over-consumption problems such as overeating and drug use. Sprague-Dawley rats responded to a range of fixed-ratio requirements to obtain food in baseline conditions. Shock was then delivered according to a VR 100 schedule to assess its effects on demand for food. Effects on response rates, total consumption, and functional changes to demand curves will be presented.
68. Anticipation of Food in Hamsters: The Runway With a Free-Operant Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
HECTOR OCTAVIO CAMARENA (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara), Felipe Cabrera (Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
Abstract: Animals’ anticipation of the presence versus absence of food has been studied with runways in which a trip from the start box to the goal is rewarded by food after several trials without food. Numerous findings show that animals tend to increase their running speed as food is approaching (Capaldi, 1985). The interest in using hamsters is because the different food consumption patterns they show after obtaining food, so anticipation patterns could be different comparative to the observed in rats. In our experiment we used a runway that provided food according to two different patterns of reward (R) or non-reward (N) conditions, and a random sequence. Although in general the anticipation behavior replicates those obtained with rats, results showed some more typical behavioral patterns in hamsters according to the presence or absence of food.
69. Temporal Discounting of Various Outcomes to Examine Characteristics That Affect Rate of Discounting
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
KATHRYN R. HAUGLE (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Rochelle R. Smits (University of Kansas), Daniel D. Holt (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)
Abstract: Many researchers have examined individuals' selection between a small immediate outcome and a delayed large outcome. Results show that as the delay to an outcome increases, the subjective value of the outcome decreases. This phenomenon has been termed temporal discounting (Raineri & Rachlin, 1993). Researchers have examined how individuals temporally discount various outcomes, including consumable and non-consumable outcomes (Estle, Green, Myerson, & Holt, 2007; Odum & Rainaud, 2003). Results suggest that individuals discount non-consumable outcomes (money) less steeply than immediately consumable outcomes (candy, soda, drugs, etc.). Charlton and Fantino (2008) suggest the difference may be due to specific characteristics of the items, one being the characteristic of a metabolic function. Other characteristics, such as the perishability and the fungibility of the item, may also affect the rate of discounting. The present study will compare temporal discounting of various outcomes in order to expose the characteristic that affects the rate of discounting.
70. Choice Between a Variable-Interval Schedule and Multiple Fixed-Ratio Schedules Differing in Reinforcer Magnitude
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
VANESSA MINERVINI (College of Charleston), Chad M. Galuska (College of Charleston), Tammy Wade-Galuska (University of South Carolina Salkehatchie)
Abstract: Rats responded on a two-component multiple schedule arranged on one lever. Completion of a fixed-ratio (FR) requirement produced either a large or small appetitive reinforcer. For some rats, food pellets served as the reinforcer; for others, the reinforcer was sweetened-condensed milk. Components alternated irregularly yielding four transitions: small-small, small-large, large-small, large-large. Consistent with previous findings, the large-small transition engendered the longest pre-ratio pausing. Subsequently, a variable-interval (VI) schedule was concurrently arranged on a second lever. Completing the VI requirement produced a small reinforcer. Across conditions, the VI value was manipulated. Choice between the VI and FR schedules was measured as a function of the FR component. Rats responded more on the VI schedule when the small component was in effect on the FR schedule. There was a slight tendency for more VI responses to be made during the large-small transition than during any other transition, and this effect was magnified as the reinforcement rate associated with the VI schedule increased.
71. Effects of Combinations of Response-Dependent and Response-Independent Water Reinforcement in a Schedule-Induced Drinking Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
JORGE A. RUIZ (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), Carlos A. Bruner (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
Abstract: It has been shown that in schedule-induced drinking (SID) procedures responding is directly reinforced by the delivery of water and that lengthening the interval between responding and the delivery of water concomitantly reduces the rate of water-producing response. The interest of the present study centered on the sensitivity of the water-producing response to its contingent relation to water delivery. To vary the degree of contingency between responding and water delivery, the proportion between response-dependent/independent water deliveries was varied as follows: 0/100, 25/75, 50/50, 75/25 and 100/0 percent, respectively. These response-dependent/independent ratios were tested for three rats each under immediate and 2 s delayed water reinforcement. Decreasing the percentage of response-dependent water reinforcement (in combination with increasing percentages of response-independent water reinforcement) resulted in decreasing rates of the water-producing response, regardless whether water reinforcement was immediate or delayed. These findings show unequivocally that water reinforces directly the water-producing response in a SID procedure.
72. Effects of the Number of Alternatives in Free-Choice Preference
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
MAYUKO HORI (Kwansei Gakuin University), Tsuneo Shimazaki (Kwansei Gakuin University)
Abstract: Experiment 1 examined the preference between forced-choice situation which consists of a single alternative and free-choice situation which consists of multiple alternatives with concurrent-chains schedule. Such the choice between choice situations is called meta-choice. The purpose of experiment 1 was to examine whether the choice rate of the free-choice situation increase in proportion as the number of alternatives of free-choice situation increase. Each participant was assigned at random to two groups. Concretely, “Two-group (free-choice situation consists of two alternatives)” and “Three-group (three alternatives)” were set. In addition, this study set three conditions of irrational condition, equal condition and rational condition in each of two groups. As a result, in both groups, significant preferences to the free-choice situation were observed. However, there was not the significant difference between two groups of the choice rate of the free-choice situation. Therefore, experiment 2 examined the preference between choice situation which consists of two alternatives and another choice situation which consists of three alternatives. As a result, higher preference for the choice situation which consists of three alternatives compared with two alternatives was observed. The present study suggests that presenting multiple alternatives function as reinforcer.
73. An Experimental Approach to Behavior Assessment in the Home Setting
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LAUREN LLOYD WITHHART (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Brandy Swain (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Julia T. O'Connor (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Since the 1960's, applied research has focused on conducting treatment assessments in more natural contexts and training caregivers to implement these assessments (Najdowskski et al., 2008; Nordquist et al., 1973; Wacker et al., 1998; Zeilberger et al., 1968). Iwata et al (1982/1994) have illustrated that high validity of treatment is best established through analog functional analysis (FA). In the current study, a standard FA was conducted in the home setting with the parent acting as primary therapist. The results suggested that self injury and aggression were maintained by access to adult attention and tangible items. A treatment intervention consisting of functional communication and extinction was evaluated with the caregivers separately and resulted in an 80% decrease in problem behavior. The functional analysis conducted within the home by the parent resulted in high validity of treatment, facilitated generalization across caregivers, and evidenced high integrity of implementation. Conducting a functional analysis (FA) outside a controlled clinical setting poses many challenges including: how to control for extraneous variables and parent learned behavior. Inter-observer agreement data were collected on 64% of sessions with an average above 85% for parent and child behaviors.
74. Establishing Equivalence Classes in Preschool Children and Individuals With Mental Retardation With the Control of Baseline Controlling Relations
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
PRISCILA CRESPILHO GRISANTE (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Abstract: Recent results suggested that the establishment of Sample- S+ and Sample-S- controlling relations in baseline conditional discriminations can substantially reduce variability found in part of stimulus equivalence outcomes. In this study, preschool children and individuals with Down syndrome had two-choice conditional discrimination training AB and BC followed by testing for equivalence and stimulus control relations. Then, they were trained CD, tests verified class expansion and stimulus control tests were re-applied. In training relations a single-comparison procedure were employed, with one of two comparisons covered by a mask in 50% of the trials. Then, participants selected the displayed comparison if it was related to the current sample, or selected the mask if it was not. With this procedure, participants supposedly had to learn both sample-S+ and sample-S- controlling relations. Stimulus control tests intended to confirm this acquisition: new stimulus replaced S+ or S- in baseline trials. All participants showed CA and AC emergent relations and 5 of 8 showed class expansion. However, stimulus control tests showed variability. The results indicate that sample-S+ and sample-S- controlling relations are important determinants of stimulus equivalence establishment and suggests the necessity of investigate which kind of procedures are capable to measure sample-S+ and sample-S- control.
75. Do Pigeons Exhibit an Overjustification Effect?
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
JAMES CERRI (University of Tennessee), John C. Malone (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: The overjustification effect is a decrease in behavior that is thought to be “intrinsically” motivated resulting from removal of previously added extrinsic “rewards.” This intensely-investigated effect has been explained as due to “cognitive reevaluation” by the (virtually always human) subject - a change in “locus of causality” from internal to external. To test this hypothesis, White Carneau Pigeons were exposed to different reinforcement frequencies, with several values of richer and leaner VI schedules successively presented in blocks of sessions with a constant stimulus light on the response key. Initial data showed that large changes in response rates can occur without any change in discriminative stimulus such that a “reward contrast” effect occurs. Birds were then exposed to blocks of sessions of various VI schedules signaled by different key-light stimuli. Periods of extinction with those specific stimuli were presented and response rates were compared to baseline response rates attained during initial exposure to the varied VI schedules. In all cases effects were better explained as reinforcement contrast, rather than an overjustification effect and the same account may apply to the results of myriad studies with humans. Additional data will be collected using additional procedures.
76. Examination of Behavioral History on Student Preference for Choice of Math Problems
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ALAYNA T. HABERLIN (The Ohio State University), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of behavioral history on elementary students’ preference for the opportunity to choose tasks. Previous research on choice has focused on the arrangement of current contingencies and has not accounted for the effects of behavioral history. Therefore, we examined participants’ preference for free choice (i.e., two math problems) or no choice (i.e., one math problem) options based on prior exposure to certain choice conditions. A reversal design (ABA) was used to examine history effects. During baseline, participants were allowed to choose to complete math problems in either a free or no choice condition. During the history-building phase, participants were exposed to either free choice, no choice, or a mixed condition (alternating between free and no-choice conditions). The subsequent return to baseline assessed behavioral history effects on preference for choice. The results demonstrated that students preferred no choice to free choice when the exact same math problems were presented in the choice condition, regardless of prior history. When the choice condition presented different math problems, preference was allocated toward the free choice options, regardless of prior history. These data suggested that preference for choice was related to current rather than past contingencies.
77. A Comparison of the Discriminative Properties of Two Kinds of Auditory Stimuli in Sprague-Dawley Rats: Pure Tone Versus White Noise
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
JHORDY J. LYTLE (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: In both laboratory and natural settings, discriminative stimuli can facilitate learning by signaling situations in which responding will be reinforced or extinguished. Many factors could potentially mediate the effectiveness of a given stimulus to act as a discriminative stimulus such as stimulus salience, sensory capabilities of the organism, and environmental context. The present study compared two auditory stimuli, 5 kHz pure tone and white noise, in a successive discrimination task. A two-component multiple schedule was used in which a variable-interval 30-s schedule alternated with extinction every minute. The presence of the auditory stimulus signaled the availability of reinforcement and the absence of the stimulus signaled the nonavailability of reinforcement. An A-B-A design was utilized in order to compare the pure tone and the white noise as discriminative stimuli. For each session a discrimination index was calculated (SD responses / total responses). The results show that discriminative stimulus control was acquired more quickly and to a greater extent when white noise was the stimulus. These results are consistent with research by Segal and Harrison (1978) who found similar differences in squirrel monkeys. Future research is underway to elucidate the factors that could account for these differences.
78. Head Banging by Pigeons II: A Systematic Replication and Extension of an Animal Model of Psychopathology
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
ALLISON H. HAHN (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: Headbanging is a self-injurious behavior commonly associated with many forms of developmental and personality disorders, and major mental illnesses. Clinical reports traditionally have denied any social benefits that might maintain such self-injury. Nevertheless, numerous successful interventions have been devised on the basis of considering self-injurious behavior as instrumental in producing important reinforcing consequences. Accordingly, Layng, Andronis, & Goldiamond (1997) demonstrated that such behavior in pigeons indeed could be established, maintained, and otherwise modified as operant behavior, not very different from keypecking, lever-pressing, treadle-pressing, or other mundane behaviors typically regarded as “normal.” The present study systematically replicates those initial findings, and extends them to include a different history of behavioral contingencies, strengthening the heuristic value of this animal model for the study of self-injurious behavior. Five experimentally naïve White Carneax pigeons served. They were trained to bang their heads against a chamber wall equipped with a sensor grid that registered instances of the behavior and brought them into contact with experimentally arranged contingencies of reinforcement. In addition to food-maintained headbanging, the current study also demonstrated control by a contingency in which headbangs produced only change in a discriminative stimulus associated with a response-independent schedule of food reinforcement.
79. A Relational Frame Theory Approach to Understanding Perspective-Taking Using Children's Stories in Typically Developing Children
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NICOLE LYNN DAVLIN (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract: Perspective-taking is a new topic in the field of behavior analysis and has become of extreme interest. Previous research has looked at perspective-taking using a protocol that has been previously developed. Research in this field has looked at whether the lack of perspective-taking (mindblindness) is the cause for social deficits in children diagnosed with autism. The present paper modified the previously used perspective-taking protocol and included story book examples to determine if typically developing children could change perspective from themselves to fictional characters in various children’s books using a Relational Frame Theory approach. Previous research suggests that derived relational responding is responsible for perspective-taking deficits. Preliminary results suggest that after extensive training; typically developing children were able to complete the protocol.
80. Matching-to-Sample Tasks and Observing Responses
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
TORUNN LIAN (Akershus University College), Erik Arntzen (Akershus University College)
Abstract: In matching-to-sample tasks and research on stimulus equivalence classes, most of the existing papers have reported about requirement of a response to the sample stimulus which is followed by the presentation of the comparisons. Some other studies have not reported about such a requirement, i.e., the sample is presented and then either simultaneously or after a short interval the comparisons are presented without any response requirement. In two previous studies we invested the effects of response requirements versus no response requirement in a simultaneous matching-to-sample task. We found the higher error rates in the condition with no response requirement to sample stimulus, but no pronounced effect on derived responding (Arntzen et al., 2009). The simultaneous arrangement allows participants to look back and forth between sample and comparison stimuli and could have vanished out the effects of response requirements. In the present study we compared all three variations of the procedure, i.e., (1) requirement of a response to sample stimulus, (2) no requirement of a response to the sample stimulus and simultaneous presentation of sample and comparison, and (3) no requirement of a response to the sample stimulus and a 2 s interval between the presentation of sample and comparison.



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