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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.

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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Poster Session #60
Sunday, May 29, 2016
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Riverside Exhibit Hall, Hyatt Regency, Purple East
Chair: Susan D. Kapla (Northern Michigan University)
51. Companionship or Solitude: Rats’ Preferences for Social or Non-Social Alternatives
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MADELINE WAGAR (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Lindsay Mehrkam (Oregon State University)
Abstract: The present study aims to explore the reinforcing value of social interaction when rats are given the option to respond for either time with a cagemate or time alone. This study extend earlier unpublished work from our laboratory that found rats respond preferentially for access to a restrained rat than for access to an empty chamber. However, it is possible that the rats were responding for a chance to interact with the restriction harness, rather than the partner rat. This study removes the harness and presents focal rats with a choice between responding for an unrestricted cagemate or an empty chamber. Additionally, this study increased the fixed-ratio (FR) cost beyond what has been observed previously. Six female Sprague-Dawley rats were tested in cagemate pairs in a three-chambered two-choice operant chamber. One rat per pair served as the focal responding rat and was located in the central chamber, while the other served as the social reward. The focal rat could respond on a right or a left lever on a FR 5 schedule for 45-s access to the corresponding side chamber. The side with the rat alternated each session to control for position biases. Data indicates that rats prefer the cagemate to the empty compartment, consistent with prior results. Subsequent conditions will explore the preferences for familiar versus unfamiliar rats, and the effects of free versus forced choice.
52. Behavioural Methodologies for Measuring the Efficacy of Repellent in Sparrows (Passer domesticus)
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KRISTIE E. CAMERON (Unitec New Zealand), Nigel Adams (Unitec New Zealand), Ayellet Bistricer (Unitec New Zealand), Emily Robson (Unitec New Zealand), Angela Halliday (Unitec New Zealand), Graham Jones (Unitec New Zealand), Jodi Salinsky (Unitec New Zealand), Diane Fraser (Unitec New Zealand)
Discussant: Lindsay Mehrkam (Oregon State University)
Abstract: Behavioural analytic techniques were used to assess the efficacy of an odour repellent to the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) to deter birds from roosting sites resulting in disease transmission and damage to public and private property. The spatial use of aviaries by 10 wild-caught birds was tested based on the localities of a food source and repellent varied across conditions. In Experiment 1, food consumption was recorded when the repellent was placed at increasing distances from the food. In Experiment 2, Experiment 1 was repeated with a choice of food independent of the repellent. In Experiment 3, the number of sparrows was recorded in predetermined zones across the aviary using behavioural sampling techniques. In Experiment 4, faecal counts in each zone were recorded. Birds showed more variability in food consumption and produced higher faecal counts at localities further from the repellent source. The choice method was used to trial the repellent in field tests as it was analogous to choices likely demonstrated in situ and identified a distance threshold for efficacy of the repellent. Techniques of behaviour analysis are transdisciplinary, from measuring animal and human behaviour to providing protocols for pest control within an urban ecology setting.
53. Effects of Increased Swimming Time on Bumblefoot Lesions in Penguins
Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN L. KALAFUT (Antioch College), Rickey Kinley (Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden)
Discussant: Lindsay Mehrkam (Oregon State University)
Abstract: Bumblefoot, or pododermatitis, is a bacterial infection of the foot that commonly occurs in captive birds, including penguins (AZA, 2014). The lesions, or bumbles, occur from excessive pressure on the plantar surface and have been linked to many factors in penguins, including sex, weight, enclosure substrate and behavioral factors (Erlacher-Reid, et al., 2012). Recent research has found that bumblefoot lesions can be reduced through the use of environmental enrichment (Reisfield, et al., 2013). This research validates the efficacy of behavioral interventions in decreasing or eliminating lesions, but fails to provide any behavioral data. The goals of this research are to quantify the behavioral changes necessary in order to decrease or eliminate bumblefoot lesions, as well as determine the necessary behaviors in order to prevent its re-occurrence. Five Little Blue penguins (Eudyptula minor) suffering from bumblefoot will serve as subjects. Behavioral measures include the daily amount of time spent swimming and standing on various substrates. Physical measures include the diameter of lesions (Reisfield, et al., 2013). Using a multiple baseline design, different lengths of daily swim bouts will be implemented for each penguin while lesions are measured daily. Results pending.


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