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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #71
CE Offered: BACB
From the Lab to Practice: Variations on Resurgence Procedures and Their Implications
Sunday, May 29, 2016
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Zurich D, Swissotel
Area: EAB/PRA
CE Instructor: Kathryn M. Kestner, Ph.D.
Chair: Tyler Nighbor (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Resurgence is the reoccurrence of a previously reinforced response, typically following (conventional) extinction of an alternatively reinforced response. Resurgence is both of research interest and applied relevance. Presenters in this symposium will discuss variations on resurgence procedures in both laboratory and applied contexts. In the first presentation, presenters will describe an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using rats, and theoretical and applied implications of results will be discussed. In the second presentation, a human operant arrangement will be presented that investigated the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. Basic and applied implications will be discussed. In the third presentation, researchers will present an evaluation the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon in a clinically relevant context. Results will be discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.
Keyword(s): Noncontingent Reinforcement, Punishment, Relapse, Resurgence
Resurgence of Punishment-Suppressed Behavior
RUSTY NALL (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Relapse (resurgence) often occurs following removal of alternative reinforcement used in differential reinforcement of alternative behavior treatments. Animal models are useful for examining resurgence, but traditionally use extinction to suppress target behavior. Sometimes negative consequences (i.e. punishment) serve along with alternative reinforcers to suppress problem behavior as either programmed consequences (e.g. Functional communication training + punishment) or inherent aspects of the problem behavior (e.g. substance abuse). Further, in treatment contexts, it may be difficult to withhold or remove reinforcers for problem behavior. Foot shock punishment has been used to model some relapse phenomena following response suppression by punishment with rats, but not resurgence. In the present study, we developed an animal model for studying resurgence of punishment-suppressed behavior using two groups of rats lever pressing for sucrose. Later, shock accompanied reinforcement obtained from lever pressing for both groups. One group also received concurrent sucrose for nose poking. Finally, consequences for both responses were removed, and lever pressing increased (resurged) only for rats that received alternative reinforcement. These results indicate that resurgence follows alternative reinforcer removal even when target response suppression is obtained through punishment. Theoretical and applied implications will be discussed.
The Effects of Phase 2 Manipulations on Resurgence in a Human Operant Arrangement
KATHRYN M. KESTNER (West Virginia University), Stephanie M. Peterson (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Behavior analysts in applied practice commonly use differential reinforcement of alternative behavior to reduce undesired behavior. Resurgence of problem behavior has been demonstrated following changes to reinforcement schedules due to errors in treatment integrity or intentional fading. Identifying methods for reducing the potential for treatment relapse would contribute to the utility of these interventions. Previous research suggests that the arrangement of reinforcement for alternative behavior affects the degree of resurgence obtained during an extinction test. Data will be presented from a human operant arrangement on the effects of varying density of reinforcement and the addition of an aversive auditory stimulus during Phase 2 on subsequent resurgence. The implications of the results will be discussed from both a basic and applied perspective.
Effects of Noncontingent Reinforcement as a Disruptor on Resurgence of Severe Problem Behavior Following Functional Communication Training
ANNA ING (The University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Wendy K. Berg (The University of Iowa), David P. Wacker (The University of Iowa)
Abstract: Treatment relapse refers to the return of an unwanted condition that has previously been successfully treated. One such treatment relapse phenomenon is called resurgence. Resurgence occurs when a previously extinguished response returns following extinction of an alternative response that has been reinforced. It is commonly produced by a three-phase procedure: 1) a target behavior is reinforced until responding is steady, 2) the target behavior is placed on extinction and an alternative behavior is reinforced until responding is steady for both, and 3) both behaviors are placed on extinction. If the initial target behavior re-emerges in the final phase, it is called resurgence. Most applied and basic studies have used "traditional" extinction during the disruptor phase; that is, the behaviors are not met with reinforcement. However, more recent studies have been evaluating the use of noncontingent reinforcement (NCR) to attempt to mitigate the resurgence phenomenon. In this study, two participants with a history of communicative difficulties and socially maintained problem behavior experienced the three-phase procedure in which participants were exposed to NCR during the final disruptor phase. One participant demonstrated mild resurgence of problem behavior, whereas resurgence of problem behavior did not occur for the second participant. Results are discussed in the context of previous research showing similar effects with NCR as a disruptor and its comparison to traditional extinction as a disruptor.
 

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