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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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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #142
The Natural Sciences of Biology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics Are Fundamental for Current and Especially Future Day-To-Day Clinical Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis
Saturday, May 26, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom C
Area: TBA/PRA
Chair: Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Abstract: This symposium reviews tools, technologies, and methodologies of current and (imminent) future use in treating not only the "traditional" ABA treated illnesses, but as importantly, the multitude of medical/mental/neurologic illness with which patients are afflicted. The symposium also reviews some of the many principles of the "other" Natural Sciences (neuroscience, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics) from which the natural science of ABA were derived. The ABA clinician, and especially the newest generation of those studying and researching ABA (students, faculty, practitioners), will benefit from a greater understanding of the technologies and their applications, as well as the foundation principles of natural science from which much of ABA has been derived.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): natural science, neuroscience
 
Conditioning the Immune System: ABA Methodologies Applied to Curing Cancer and Treating Addiction
(Theory)
RODNEY D. CLARK (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Previous research suggests that classical conditioning of immune function via kappa opioid mechanisms is possible. The present experiments were conducted to extend previous findings in our lab with the kappa agonist and antagonist, Mu agonist and antagonist the Delta agonist and antagonist Naltraben, Naltrendol, U-69-593, morphine, naloxone, sham, or saline. Forty nine Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into groups of seven and were treated with the above drugs. Determination of levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) in rat blood serum by ELISA kit analysis then followed. Results indicate the highest levels of TNF-α were detected in rat blood serum following a three day injection period of nor-BNI while levels of TNF-α observed during naloxone conditioning were not different than control values. Elevated levels of TNF-α wer observed following Kappa agonists. Although making accurate predictions of future events is exceptionally difficult, there are none-the-less trends that currently appear evident. Data collected from experiments such as those described above strongly suggests that classical conditioning of the effects of Immunomodulatory drugs may offer a fruitful path for the development of successful treatment strategies for the treatment of drug addiction, the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The opioid receptor is one factor that should be explored as a therapeutic target for cancer drugs.
 
Concepts From the Natural Sciences (Biology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics) Used by ABA Clinicians Currently and in the Imminent Future
(Theory)
RICHARD COOK (Pennsylvania State University)
Abstract: The natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics) are arguably the home of behaviorism. Some argue that behaviorism IS a natural science, yet ABA practice and education today reflects little of this heritage, nor the ongoing explosion of knowledge in neuroscience. Many tenets of applied behavior analysis (ABA) can be found, and even better understood, thru their analogous principles in some of these other "natural sciences." Terms like reinFORCEment and behavioral MOMENTUM can sometimes be more easily understood in light of their context in other disciplines. Concepts in chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics will be discussed and utilized by participants until they not only understood and no longer feared, but are readily incorporated into the participant's armamentarium. The session will also review some of the newer findings in neuroscience most relevant to the daily practice of ABA.
 
Neuroscience, Neuroimaging, Neuroimmunologic Tools, Technologies, and Methodologies of Current and (Near) Future Use by ABA Clinicians
(Theory)
JENNY LEANN PAGAN (Positive Behavior Supports Corp.), Richard Cook (Pennsylvania State University), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Abstract: The explosion of neuroscience, and related neuroimmunology, neuroimaging, and other related medical specialties and foci continues exponentially, and has given clinicians the ability to "look inside the box." Intervening early in the "chain of behaviors" is a well known axiom and well applied technique; neuroimaging can alert the clinician much earlier in the chain of events, long before any overt signs of behavior are observable. fMRI can be an effective and efficient tool for reinforcer determination, for assessing the impact of the "wiring of the brain" done by the ABA behavior modification plan, and even for drawing inferences about what have been previously described as "private behaviors." Biofeedback has been utilized by behaviorists, and now can incorporate enhanced systems benefiting from the new technologies and understanding of brain function. Paralyzed patients are using brain waves to stimulate electronically driven devices for communication and ambulation. Neuroimmunologic methodologies can be used to assess impact of chemical or "behavioral" intervention, and can themselves have an impact on behavior, on rewiring the brain. The population will continue to age, increasing the incidence and prevalence of diseases/disabilities such as dementia, stroke, Parkinson's disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and many other neurologically mediated illnesses. Fortunately, there is a concomitant increase in the technological and medicinal implements to diagnose and treat such illnesses, as well as the increasing "societal burden" leading to increased societal concern and resource allocation. In all of this, the principles of behavior as outlined by nature stand firm, but are themselves becoming better understood as they apply to the multitude of behaviors, overt, "private," and "neurophysiological." This paper reviews tools, technologies, and methodologies of current and (imminent) future use in treating not only the "traditional" ABA treated illnesses, but as importantly, the multitude of medical/mental/neurologic illnesses with which patients are afflicted. The ABA clinician, and especially the newest generation of those studying and researching ABA (students, faculty, practitioners), will benefit from a greater understanding of the technologies and their applications, as well as the foundation principles of natural science from which much of ABA has been derived.
 

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