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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Poster Session #476
Monday, May 28, 2018
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 1-6
Chair: Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
1. The Effect of Switching from Intermittent to Continuous Reinforcement on Extinction of Behavior
Domain: Basic Research
KATHRYN M. POTOCZAK (Shippensburg University), Katya Nolder (Shippensburg University)
Abstract: Extinction is a commonly-used operant procedure for decreasing behavior in applied settings, which works by withholding functional reinforcement for a behavior with a history of reinforcement. However, a major drawback of the procedure is how slow it can be, especially if the behavior has a long-standing history of intermittent reinforcement. Previous basic research indicates that extinction occurs faster after continuous reinforcement (CRF) as compared to intermittent reinforcement (INT), known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). Thus, behavior that has been maintained on an intermittent schedule may extinguish faster if switched to a continuous schedule for a short time before the implementation of extinction, which is what the current study examined. Five rats were shaped up to a variable-ratio 8 (VR8) schedule of intermittent reinforcement. Upon reaching a response rate of 20 lever presses per minute at VR8, half of the rats were placed directly on extinction until a response rate of less than 0.1 responses per minute across two consecutive sessions was reached. The other half were subjected to a continuous reinforcement schedule for five 30-minute experimental sessions, then placed on extinction until the aforementioned extinction criteria was reached. In the second phase of the study, all the rats will again be shaped up to VR8, and the rats that did not experience CRF before will do so, while the rats that did will experience straight extinction (no CRF beforehand), to allow for a within-subject evaluation of the effect of this schedule switch (independent variable) on time to extinction (dependent variable).
2. The Role of Reinforcement Rates in Behavioral History Effects for White Leghorn Chicks’ Key-Peck Responding
Domain: Basic Research
TATSUHIRO NAKAMURA (Tokiwa University), Tetsumi Moriyama (Tokiwa University)
Abstract: Behavioral history effects are those of prior experience on subsequent current behavior. This study investigated history effects of reinforcement schedules correlated with high or low reinforcement rates on stimulus control in later contingencies using chicks. In the first phase, four chicks were exposed to two tandem variable-interval differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedules under different stimulus conditions. The values of DRL schedules were adjusted so that reinforcement rates in one stimulus condition were higher than those in the other, even though response rates in the two conditions were nearly identical. In the second phase, a fixed-interval schedule was introduced to each chick under the same stimulus conditions as those in the first phase. In the final phase, chicks’ key-peck responses were extinguished under the same stimulus conditions as those in the previous phases. All chicks showed similar response rates in each phase. Figure 1 showed the typical results of two chicks. The effects of reinforcement rates under two stimulus conditions on later stimulus control were not clear. The chicks’ key-peck response rates seem to be affected not by the prior reinforcement rates but by contingencies of reinforcement in each phase. Thus, the reinforcement rates may not be an important variable for behavioral history effects.
3. Serotonin 6 receptor antagonist BGC 20791 reduces repetitive behaviors in BTBR mouse model of autism spectrum disorder
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
REBEKAH ROSEMARY POSADAS (California State University, San Bernardino), Sophie Peterson (California State University, San Bernardino), Alma Pahua (California State University, San Bernardino), Armando Hernandez (California State University, San Bernardino), Dionisio Amodeo (California State University, San Bernardino)
Abstract: Recent studies have found that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show robust impairments in behavioral flexibility. The current study aims to better understand how decreased 5-HT6 receptor activation may lead to an alleviation of the reversal learning impairments found in the BTBR mouse model of ASD. Control C57BL/6J and BTBR mice were tested on three separate behavioral measures including repetitive grooming, locomotor activity, and probabilistic reversal learning. We predicted that the 5-HT6 receptor antagonist BGC 20-761 would reduce repetitive grooming and alleviate the probabilistic reversal learning impairment found in these mice, while having no overall effect on locomotor activity. For the probabilistic reversal learning task, mice were tested on acquisition then reversal learning in a T-maze using an 80/20 probabilistic reinforcement procedure. The high dose of 2.5 mg/kg BGC 20-761 reduced repetitive grooming in BTBR mice compared to controls, but also decreased locomotor activity. The low dose of 0.25 mg/kg BGC 20-761 also reduced repetitive grooming but did not similarly reduce locomotor activity. BGC 20-761 treatment similarly improved probabilistic reversal learning in the BTBR mice. These findings highlight how 5-HT6 receptor down regulation may aid in attenuating lower order repetitive motor behaviors and higher order behavioral rigidity.
4. Cooperative Responding in Rats Maintained by Fixed- and Variable-Ratio Schedules
Domain: Basic Research
LUCAS COUTO DE CARVALHO (Oslo and Akershus University College), Leticia Santos (Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil), Alceu Regaço (Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil), Thiago Braga (Universidade Federal de S�o Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil), Rafael da Silva (Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil), Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil), Ingunn Sandaker (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences)
Abstract: Cooperative responding has been investigated under continuous reinforcement (CRF or FR 1). The present study investigated the effects of fixed-ratio (FR) and variable-ratio (VR) schedules of reinforcement on the patterns of cooperative responding in seven pairs of rats. Experiment 1 arranged FR 1, FR 10, and VR 10 schedules for cooperation (order was counterbalanced). The contingency required the responding of both rats within a short time interval (< 500 ms). Cooperative responding was higher under intermittent schedules than under continuous reinforcement. FR 10 generated a break-and-run pattern, while VR 10 schedule generated a constant responding pattern. Experiment 2 compared responding under a cooperative intermittent schedule (FR 6), and under a yoked schedule programming the same reinforcement rate, without a requirement for joint responding of two rats for reinforcement. Coordinated behavior was maintained at higher rates under social intermittent contingencies than under yoked contingencies. Therefore, cooperative responding in rats was established and maintained under intermittent schedules of reinforcement, the patterns of responding were similar to those obtained for a single organism, and the removal of the contingency for coordinated responding did not maintain cooperation. These results extend previous findings on the conditions that foster coordinated behavior in non-human subjects. Keywords: cooperation, schedules of reinforcement, fixed-ratio, variable-ratio, water, rats
5. Effects of delaying reinforcement from earn and collect responses in food accumulation
Area: PRA; Domain: Basic Research
CARLOS ALEXIS PEREZ HERRERA HERRERA (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Carlos A. Bruner (National University of Mexico)
Abstract: Most studies on food accumulation by rats involve two different response classes: earn and collect. However, in experiments done in our laboratory accumulated food has only been delayed from the earn response. By contrast the present study compared the effects of delayed reinforcement on both, earn and collect responses. For the earn condition three rats each were exposed to a chained FI 30 s FT t FR1 while for the collect condition three other rats were each exposed to a chained FI 30 s FR1 FT t. For both conditions t was either 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32. Results showed that lengthening reinforcement delay in both conditions increased the rate of the earn responses although more markedly when food was delayed from the earn response than when it was delayed from the collect response. These results suggest that delaying reinforcement on the earn responses, as done in studies from our laboratory, yield similar functions than when reinforcement is delayed from the collect responses, a fact not hitherto known.
6. Interrelationship between Attacker Pigeons’ Extinction-Induced Attack and their Target Pigeons’ Pecking towards the Attackers
Domain: Basic Research
TAKASHI SAKUMA (Tokiwa university)
Abstract: The author investigated interrelationship between attacker pigeons’ extinction-induced attack (EIA) and their target pigeons’ pecking towards the attackers by comparing inter-response times (IRTs) per opportunity of respective behavior. Three of seven pigeons were attackers and the remaining four were their targets. All attackers were paired with each of the targets. Each attacker was introduced into an operant chamber with one key and the target was introduced into a box adjacent to the operant chamber via transparent panel. When the attacker emitted EIA or the target pecked towards the attacker, this panel was operated. Due to this operation, attackers’ EIA and the target’s pecking were measured. Each attacker’s key pecking was exposed to continuous reinforcement and extinction schedules during the respective pairing. The figure shows distributions of IRTs per opportunity in each pairing of an attacker (#2) and the four targets (#12, #24, #31, #82) and correlation coefficient r between their behaviors’ IRTs per opportunity. The distributions of IRTs per opportunity of the attacker and the targets were very similar and all correlation coefficients were high. As other attackers’ pairs showed comparable results, the author found that attackers’ EIA and targets’ pecking towards the attackers are related to each other.
7. Ethanol Consumption in Rats Engendered by Negative Incentive Shifts in Food Reward
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
KAYCE MCCLELLAN HOPPER (College of Charleston), Leslie Sawyer (College of Charleston), Ellie Cutright (College of Charleston), Chad M. Galuska (College of Charleston)
Abstract: Introduction. Signaled transitions between favorable and unfavorable situations, termed negative incentive shifts, engender behavioral disruption in the form of extended pausing on fixed-ratio (FR) schedules. We investigated if negative incentive shifts also produce ethanol self-administration. Procedure. Ten male food-restricted Long-Evans rats lever pressed on a multiple FR FR schedule with signaled components producing either a large (4 pellet) or small (1 pellet) reinforcer. Four transitions between reinforcers were arranged: from a just-received small reinforcer to a signaled upcoming-small reinforcer (small-small), small-large, large-large, and large-small (the negative incentive shift). After establishing a baseline of lever pressing during these transitions, rats were provided with concurrent access to a 10% sucrose solution (w/v) and licks were recorded as a function of transition type. Then, a mixture of 10% sucrose plus 10% ethanol (w/v) was investigated. In a final condition, the sucrose was faded out and rats self-administered a 10% ethanol solution (v/v). In all conditions, tap water was freely available outside of sessions. Results. The negative incentive shift produced the longest pre-ratio pauses and produced the most ethanol consumption. Rats tended to drink during the onset of the session and during the negative incentive shift but drank less during the other transitions. Conclusions. Negative incentive shifts in food reward initiate and maintain ethanol self-administration.
8. Old Pigeons, New Tricks
Domain: Basic Research
Tonya Paige Blosser (West Virginia University), DANIEL BELL-GARRISON (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: An organism’s behavior is shaped through interactions with the environment or an agent acting as a “shaper.” Herrnstein (1964) demonstrated that a teacher-pigeon could shape a student-pigeon’s behavior so that both could obtain food. This experiment replicated this demonstration using a pigeon as a teacher to a second pigeon, designated the student. Each pigeon faced a separate panel divided by a transparent wall. The panels included a food hopper for each pigeon, and a response key was located on the teacher’s side of the wall. Food was delivered to both pigeons when two criteria were met: 1) the student was standing in a specific location designated by an orange rectangle on the floor and 2) the teacher pecked the key. When the orange rectangle moved around the chamber across sessions, the student tracked the location. The teacher showed some evidence of differentially responding when the student was closer to the designated location, although this was not as clear of an effect. Herrnstein, R. (1964). Will. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 108(6), 455-458. Retrieved from
9. Boiling the Frog: Gradual Transitions Between Ratio Schedules
Domain: Basic Research
AMANDA ACKERMAN (West Virginia University), Anthony Stephen Peracchio (West Virginia University), Daniel Bell-Garrison (West Virginia University), Michael Steele Yencha (West Virginia University ), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Prior researchers have shown that responding in mixed fixed-interval variable-interval schedules is systematically related to the probability of the fixed- or variable-interval components presented. In the current experiment, the duration of post-reinforcement pauses were investigated as a function of the probability of fixed-ratio (FR) or variable-ratio (VR) components in a mixed schedule. Three pigeons were placed under one of two sequences in which the probability of components was systematically varied. The FR sequence began with a 1.00 probability of the FR component and a 0.00 probability of the VR component. Across conditions, the probability of the FR component was shifted toward the VR component in a systematic sequence: 1.00/0.00, 0.90/0.10, 0.66/0.33, 0.33/0.66, 0.00/1.00. For the VR sequence, the reverse order of conditions was used. Mean pause durations and relative frequency distributions showed that post-reinforcement pausing increased with greater probabilities of the FR component.
10. Imitation in Pigeons
Area: AAB; Domain: Basic Research
KAYLA EICHSTEDT (West Virginia University)
Abstract: An experimentally used pigeon 2748 was placed in a holding cage. Once in the cage 2748 would exhibit an escape behavior. The holding cage is commonly used in the lab and no prior learning of the escape behavior or shaping. The pigeon doesnt receive a food reinforcer upon escaping. The reinforcer in the experiment is the opportunity to escape. After conducting baselines on 2748, we received an average escape time. Next, we placed a mirror in front of 2748s holding cage, on average 2748 significantly escaped faster. This ruled out the possibility of social facilitation. We then conducted a baseline on the nave pigeon. The pigeon did not exhibit the escape behavior. We plan to place two nave pigeons across from each other. We are looking to see if the one pigeon will imitate the other's behavior and escape. We do not expect that to occur since the pigeon has not previously escaped. Once all baselines are conducted we will place the nave pigeon across from 2748. We expect 2748 will continue to escape in the presence of the nave pigeon. After repeated exposure, the nave pigeon will imitate 2748 and escape, in the presence of the 2748 and on his own.
11. Social Enrichment Enhances Habituation to an Open-Field but not to Positive Reinforcers
Domain: Basic Research
KATHLEEN ROBIN MCNEALY (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer-Johnson (University of Alaska Anchorage), Cassandra Anderson (University of Alaska Anchorage), Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: Studies suggest that social enrichment speeds up many learning processes, including habituation to novel and aversive stimuli. However, the effect of social enrichment on habituation to positive reinforcers has not been examined. The current investigation compared within-session responses of socially enriched (SE; n = 4) and socially isolated (SI; n = 4) male Wistar rats on (1) a VI-7.5 s schedule of reinforcement and (2) an open-field apparatus. Repeated measures analyses of variance were used to analyze proportions of operant responses and open-field activity made in successive 2-minute bins. Both SE [F(14, 42) = 22.96, p < .001, η2p = .88] and SI [F(14, 42) = 19.40, p < .001, η2p = .87] subjects exhibited significant within-session decreases in operant responses rates. However, while SE subjects exhibited decreased locomotion in the open field [F(6, 18) = 6.23, p = .001, η2p = .68], SI subjects did not [F(6, 18) = 1.89, p = .14, η2p = .39]. Further research will examine brain and adrenal gland weights relative to body weight in the two groups. Results from this investigation will aid in interpreting future data collected from socially housed subjects, which may better generalize to real world applications.
12. Comparison of a Prototype Remote Monitoring System to Conventional Video Observations for Rat Drinking Behavior
Area: PCH; Domain: Basic Research
HEATHER NALL (University of South Carolina Aiken), Derek Zelmer (University of South Carolina Aiken)
Abstract: We developed an automated monitoring system using an Arduino platform with a (radio frequency identification) RFID reader, variable resistor fluid sensor (Milone eTape) for volume measurements, and datalogger shield for real time clock reference and data storage. The software (Arduino IDE) prompts recording of the RFID chip number, date and time, and average volume each 500ms for as long as the chip triggers the reader. Two rats (IACUC 070815-BIO-07) with chips already implanted by the distributor will be housed together in one brooder size enclosure with the RFID reader in proximity to a drinking reservoir. Video data will be recorded via DVR from an Arlo Pro wireless camera mounted facing the reservoir. A colored float will be placed inside the graduated water reservoir to allow a visual reference for volume. Permanent marker will be used to mark the coat of the rats for visual identification. Initial recording will take place over 3 24-hour periods with the automated monitor and the camera. Subsequent trials (a minimum of 3) will last one week. Recorded data will be analyzed for device agreement and reliability between each trial. Time spent reviewing camera data and circuit data will be recorded to compare effort.
13. Did electro-mechanical tape readers undermine the unpredictability of variable-interval schedules?: A digital analog comparison of variable-interval methodology
Area: AAB; Domain: Basic Research
NAOMI EVANS (Central Michigan University), Mark P. Reilly (Central Michigan University), Eric James French (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: The foundational research in operant behavior exclusively employed electro-mechanical relay equipment to arrange contingencies of reinforcement. Variable interval schedules were programmed using a punched-tape reader that arranged a fixed series of repeating inter-reinforcer intervals. This repetition possibly undermines the construction of prediction-proof reinforcement schedules; however, it is unknown whether this feature affected behavior. The present study was conducted to determine whether a repeated loop of inter-reinforcer intervals would exert control over key pecking in pigeons. In the initial four phases of the experiment, pigeons pecked on either a VI 180-s or a VI 15-s schedule of either 15 or 5 total inter-reinforcer intervals generated using the Catania and Reynolds (1968) algorithm. A list of intervals were repeated each session. Analyses were conducted to discover evidence of behavior’s sensitivity to the repetitive nature of the variable interval schedule. No such signatures were discovered, suggesting that the repetitive nature of the inter-reinforcer intervals of variable interval schedules used in the classic pigeon studies likely did not influence their outcomes. The components of the current condition, which mimic that of a two-component mixed fixed interval, could help to establish whether or not temporal learning can be accomplished with the current subjects and apparatus.
14. Effects of Delay of Reinforcement on Resistance to Change and Resurgence
Domain: Basic Research
RAFAEL MACEDO (Universidade de Brasilia), Carlos Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract: The effects of delay of reinforcement on resistance to change and resurgence were assessed in an experiment with four rats. In the Training phase, left-lever pressing was maintained on a two-component multiple schedule. In the immediate component, the schedule was a tandem variable-interval (VI) differential reinforcement of low rates (DRL); in the delay component, the schedule was a tandem VI fixed time (FT). Conditions were programmed so that both reinforcement and response rates, variables known to affect resurgence, were similar between components in this phase. In the Elimination phase, in both components, left-lever pressing was extinguished and right-lever pressing was maintained under equal VI schedules. In the Test phase, right-lever pressing also was extinguished in both components. The resistance to change of left-lever pressing was similar between components and, in the Test phase, resurgence did not occur in each component, for each rat. These are results of an ongoing experiment in which both delay of reinforcement and Training-phase response rates are being manipulated. The results obtained so far indicate the importance of considering response rates in the Training phase in analyses of the effects of delay of reinforcement on both resistance to change and response recurrence.
15. Delay of reinforcement, response rates and resistance to change
Domain: Basic Research
LUCIANA PINHEIRO MARIN (University of Brasília), Carlos Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract: The present experiment investigated the effect of reinforcement delay on resistance to extinction. Four rats were exposed to a two-component multiple schedule. In the immediate component, a tandem VI DRL schedule was in effect; in the delay component, a tandem VI FT 3-s schedule was in effect. In baseline, reinforcement rates were similar between components; for two rats, response rates were similar between the components and, for the other two, response rates higher in the immediate component than in the delayed component. For three of four rats, resistance to extinction was greater in the delay than in the immediate component, regardless of the difference in baseline-response rate between components. However, the difference in resistance to extinction between components was greater when response rates differed between components in baseline. These results indicate that reinforcement delay affects resistance to change and that this relation can be modulated by the baseline rate of responding. In addition, the present results fail to replicate those of previous studies with pigeons, in which greater resistance to change in the immediate than in the delay component has been reported.
16. Investigation of Resurgence across Mand Topography Proficiency
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
ANDREA RAMIREZ-CRISTOFORO (The University of Texas at Austin ), Cayenne Shpall (The University of Texas, Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Fabiola Vargas Londoño (University of Texas, Austin)
Abstract: Numerous studies have demonstrated the utility of functional communication training (FCT) in the treatment of challenging behavior. Ringdahl et al. (2009) evaluated the role of proficiency across mand topographies with regard to the effectiveness of FCT. Ringdahl et al. found that FCT was more effective when higher proficiency mand topographies were targeted during FCT in the treatment of challenging behavior. The purpose of the current study was to examine mand proficiency on resurgence of challenging behavior within FCT. We conducted a mand proficiency assessment (MPA) with children who engaged in challenging behavior. Based on the results of the MPA, FCT was implemented with high and low-proficiency mand topographies; subsequently, we tested for resurgence (i.e extinction of mands and challenging behavior) across the two mand topographies. Results showed similar patterns of resurgence of challenging behavior in both high and low proficiency mand topographies; however greater persistence in high proficiency mands was observed during extinction phases relative to low proficiency mands.
17. Response-Produced Contextual Cues in an ABA Renewal Procedure in Rats
Domain: Basic Research
RODRIGO BENAVIDES (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Rogelio Escobar (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Abstract: Previous findings in renewal literature suggest that a context in which aversive stimulation was present acquires aversive properties. If the context in which reinforcement is delivered can function as a conditioned reinforcer and be used to establish new responses, however, is unknown. Two food-deprived Wistar rats served as subjects in a modified ABA renewal procedure. During Phase A, responding on one lever (Reinforcement lever) was reinforced with food in Context A (e.g., tone). In Phase B responding on the food lever was extinguished in Context B (e.g., light). During the second exposure to Phase A, changing from Context B to Context A was response dependent. That is, responses on a previously inoperative lever (Context lever) produced Context A for 5 s, after which Context B resumed. Pressing the food lever had no programmed consequences. Lever pressing was established when it produced Context A even when responding occurred in the absence of primary reinforcement. A test of spontaneous recovery after 24 hours increased context-producing responses for the two rats. These findings suggest that contextual cues can acquire reinforcing properties and provide information of why after treatments, participants return to contexts in which problem behavior is likely to recur.
18. The Effects of Alternative-Reinforcer Magnitude on Resurgence: A Modified Replication of Craig et al. (2017)
Domain: Basic Research
ROB J GOODHUE (University of North Texas), Carlos Lopez (University of North Texas), Mary Elizabeth Hunter (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The purpose of this experiment was to replicate Experiment 1 of Craig, Browning, Nall, Marshall, and Shahan (2017) using college student participants and The Portable Operant Research and Teaching Lab (PORTL). Craig et al. taught rats to press a target lever, then gave rats either 0, 1, or 5 reinforcers for pressing an alternative lever. The authors found that a larger magnitude reinforcer resulted in a greater suppression of the target behavior and more resurgence during a final extinction condition. The present experiment used two buttons as the experimental stimuli and small, colorful blocks as reinforcers. During Phase 1, participants could earn blocks on a VI 6 s schedule by touching the target button. During Phase 2, participants were divided into three groups. They received either 0, 1, or 5 blocks for touching the alternative button on a VI 6 s schedule. During Phase 3, no blocks were delivered for either button. Similar to Craig et al., the results of the present study suggest that the delivery of five blocks resulted in faster suppression of the target response. However, higher resurgence was seen for participants who received one block during Phase 2 than for participants who received five blocks.
19. Resurgence of Observing Responses
Domain: Basic Research
MATTHEW KLOCKE (West Virginia University), Catalina Serrano (Universidade de São Paulo), Anthony Oliver (West Virginia University ), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: In one previous study on the recurrence of observing responses, both primary and secondary reinforcers were removed during the resurgence test. The current procedure addressed this limitation by only withholding the conditioned reinforcer during the resurgence test. Responses on the central key were reinforced according to a mixed VI EXT schedule. During the training phase, the target and alternative responses were pecking on side keys reinforced by presenting the availability of reinforcement on a central key. In the alternative reinforcement phase, responses on one of the side keys no longer produced the color change on the center key. When the alternative response was no longer reinforced, there was an increase in responding on the target key. By the end of the resurgence test, responding on the center key increased. Thus, this experiment demonstrated the resurgence of responses maintained by secondary reinforcement without removing primary reinforcers.
20. Behavioral Contrast and Resurgence in Multiple and Concurrent Schedules
Domain: Basic Research
ANTHONY OLIVER (West Virginia University ), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The current procedure examined the relation between behavioral contrast and resurgence. In this procedure pigeons were presented with two keys that were concurrently available. On the left key, a two-component multiple schedule was in effect. On the right key, a single schedule was always programmed. During the first phase of the procedure, responses to both components of the multiple schedule were reinforced according to variable interval (VI) 60-s schedules. A VI 60-s schedule was also in effect for the single-schedule key. In the second phase, the multiple-schedule key remained unchanged and responses to the single-schedule key were no longer reinforced. Finally, during the third phase, responses to only one component of the multiple schedule were reinforced (MULT VI 60 s EXT) and extinction remained in effect on the single-schedule key. During phase two, increases in response rates were observed in both components of the multiple-schedule key. Resurgence occurred during the third phase, with increases in response rate observed on the single-schedule key. Behavioral contrast was observed in the third phase as response rates increased in the unchanged component of the multiple schedule. Furthermore, these increases in responding were independent of one another. Responding on the single-schedule key only occurred when the extinguished component of the multiple schedule was presented.
21. Resurgence, behavioral variability, and probability of reinforcement in humans
Domain: Basic Research
SHUN FUJIMAKI (Keio University), Takayuki Sakagami (Keio University)
Abstract: The present study examined the effects of reinforcement probability of target and alternative responses on resurgence in humans. In Phase 1, a target response was reinforced. In Phase 2, the target response was placed on extinction and an alternative response was reinforced. In Phase 3, all responses did not produce reinforcers. Across all phases, two control responses were recorded but had no programmed consequences. The probabilities of reinforcement for the target and alternative responses in Phases 1 and 2 were varied among 0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 across conditions. All possible combinations of these probabilities yielded nine conditions and each participant was exposed to one of nine conditions. Although both the target and control responses increased in Phase 3 relative to Phase 2, resurgence of the target response exceeded the control response in eight of nine conditions. This result suggests the possibility that resurgence of the target response can be distinguished from extinction-induced variability. With respect to the relation between probability of reinforcement and resurgence, the reinforcement frequency for the target response had no effect on the magnitude of resurgence. On the other hand, the magnitude of resurgence was greater when the probability of reinforcement for the alternative response was high.
22. Reinforcing Variability as a Method to Train Difficult Responses: An Experiment Using Computer Games
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
JOCELYN HANSSON (Reed College), Allen Neuringer (Reed College)
Abstract: Research with rats and pigeons has shown that reinforcing variable response sequences facilitates the selection (via reinforcement) of a difficult-to-learn sequence (Grunow & Neuringer, 2002). This "variation and selection" effect could have important applications in treatment and training contexts. However, research with human participants (Doolan & Bizo, 2013; Maes & van der Goot, 2006) failed to replicate the effect. In the present study, college students played a computer game involving control of a soccer player who moved 5 steps (Left or Right responses) toward a goal. Whether a goal was scored or blocked depended on the reinforcement contingencies. Vary group participants were reinforced (scored goals) for varying sequences of responses. A Yoked group was reinforced independently of sequence variability. A Control group received no such baseline reinforcers. Concurrently, all groups (including Control) received a high-value reinforcer for emitting a difficult-to-learn "target" sequence. We found, in parallel with the rat and pigeon studies, that the Vary group learned to emit significantly more target sequences than either of the other two groups. Thus, with human participants, we replicated the previous non-human animal research, an important advance. Reasons for the difference between our findings and previous human studies are discussed.
23. The effects of response effort on spontaneous and reinforced variability
Domain: Basic Research
LAUREN PALMATEER (Western New England University), Andrew Nuzzolilli (Western New England University), Jonathan W. Pinkston (Western New England University)
Abstract: We investigated the impact of response effort on variability. Participants worked on a computer task moving a light around a five by five matrix. Participants moved a light from the upper left to the lower right position. The “A” key shifted the light down. Across components, the “S”, “G”, and “L” key moved the light rightward. Each time the light reached the target position, a point was earned. During baseline, any sequence of 4 presses on each key produced a point. Participants were instructed to earn as many points possible during each component. Once baseline responding was established, a lag five schedule was implemented to evaluate the effects of key distance on sensitivity to differential reinforcement of variability. The results showed that increasing the distance between keys reduced the number of novel sequences emitted and reduced the number of key switches per sequence. The lag schedule increased the number of different sequences emitted during the session, but those effects were not altered by key distance. The results indicate that response effort, here defined by key distance, may reduce spontaneous variability in response topography. Baseline variability, however, does not seem to limit the effects lag schedules to engender further variability.
24. The effects of ratio and interval schedules on the location variability of pecking responses in pigeons
Domain: Basic Research
MASANORI KONO (Meisei University; Teikyo University)
Abstract: Several studies have shown that reinforcement schedules systematically affect the dimensions of responses not directly reinforced under the schedules. For example, the spatial locations of pigeons’ responses have been investigated under a fixed-interval (FI) schedule. The results show that the response location moves closer to that of the most recent reinforced response over time, and that the variability of the response location increases as an FI requirement. The present study compares the effects of ratio and interval schedules on pigeons’ response locations. Pigeons are exposed to multiple fixed-ratio yoked FI and multiple variable-ratio yoked variable-interval schedules. A circular response area (22.5 cm in diameter) is used to ensure that pecking responses are effective over a wide range. The results indicate that the response locations vary between the schedules in both cases. In addition, the mean deviation, defined as the mean distance between the median of the coordinate and the location of each response, is higher for interval schedules than it is for ratio schedules. Therefore, the results show that interval schedules produce greater variability than ratio schedules do in terms of response location.
25. Behavioral Contrast Sensitivity in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Domain: Basic Research
KAZUCHIKA MANABE (Nihon University)
Abstract: Zebrafish are used as an animal model in biomedical studies including vision research. However, behavioral contrast sensitivity, a basic measure of visual function, of zebrafish has not been measured. In the present experiment, zebrafish were trained to discriminate between a sinusoidal grating pattern and plain gray having equivalent luminance. The visual stimuli were presented by an organic light-emitting diode display that has high contrast ratio. The experimental chamber had one observing gate and two entrance gates through which subjects could see the discriminative stimuli. Trials were initiated and discriminative stimuli were presented when a fish passed through an observing gate. Fish were reinforced by an automated food delivery system only when it entered the gate where sinusoidal grating pattern was presented. If fish entered the gate where plain gray was presented, a timeout was implemented. Contrast of sinusoidal grating pattern was decreased until fish cannot detect the difference between a sinusoidal grating pattern and plain gray having equivalent luminance. Zebrafish showed high-level performance in preliminary discrimination between the sinusoidal grating pattern and plain gray having lower luminance. In discrimination between sinusoidal grating pattern and plain gray having equivalent luminance, the accuracy was not so robust but approached statistical significance.
26. Building Bridges Between Behavior Analysis and Evolutionary Biology through Experimentation
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
LUIZ HENRIQUE SANTANA (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract: Evolutionary studies depend more and more on the shreds of evidence about animal behavior in order to have experimental models to test hypothesis and expand our understanding of the non-Darwinian processes underneath evolution. We developed three operant-based tasks to investigate different aspects of the evolution of organisms and their behavior. First, we evaluated the Motor Performance as a Measure of behavior flexibility and Migration Potential in Frogs. Secondly, we developed an operant task to evaluate gustative discrimination and dietary preferences in Marmoset monkeys (Callithrix sp.). Finally, a recombinative test to evaluate Creative Problem-Solving and behavior flexibility in Birds were conducted to measure the learned basis of creativity. In this work, we present the tasks and discuss the aims, measures, and comparisons proposed in an integrative manner. The use of behavioral experiments can improve Experimental Planning, Ecological Validity and Quantitative Data Analysis on Developmental and Evolutionary Biology. Recent theoretical studies discuss the impact of evolutionary ideas on psychology and behavior analysis, but less has been explored in terms of empirical research. These first experiments are part of a larger initiative that intends to integrate behavioral experiments planning to experimental biology and evolution.
27. Effects of Antennae Clipping on Side Preference of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
Domain: Basic Research
ALEXANDRA VACHA (Northern Michigan University), Hanna Pederson (Northern Michigan University), Luke Andrew Whitehouse (Northern Michigan University), Emma Elliott (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (M.H.C.) is an underexposed potential model organism in behavior analytic research. M.H.C. are less expensive and require less extensive care than vertebrates, and the use of invertebrates is less regulated and allows for replication of classical experimental analysis of behavior (E.A.B.) experiments. Through further experimentation, a more complete understanding of the behaviors of the organism can be obtained, allowing more accurate research to be conducted with them. The present experiment was designed to assess a pattern found in the data of a previous subject, who showed 100% side preference after antenna clipping. Paired stimulus preference assessments were conducted to determine any side preferences prior to treatment. Subjects were placed into three groups and the left, right, or both antennae were clipped accordingly. Paired stimulus preference assessments were conducted to examine the emergence of any side preferences. Preliminary data suggests the cutting of the antenna was not solely responsible for the previously observed pattern, as side preference does not always result from antenna damage. Other possible controlling variables are currently being explored.
28. Escape Response of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach to Butane Combustion
Domain: Basic Research
ERIN ELIZABETH WYLIE (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: The use of invertebrates in the experimental analysis of behavior (E.A.B.) comes with a variety of advantages such as reduced cost, minimal upkeep requirements, and less regulation than vertebrates. However, little research in E.A.B. has been conducted using the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (M.H.C.). Research with these organisms has been limited in the area of aversion and has produced inconsistent results. The current study seeks to replicate and expand upon the use of heat as an aversive stimulus for M.H.C. through the application of heat to nine bodily locations. Preliminary results with three female M.H.C. showed the highest magnitude escape response at the rear pair of tarsi, followed by the right antenna, front pair of tarsi, cerci, left antenna, left middle tarsus, left antenna, and right middle tarsus. A two sample t-test showed statistically significant differences between the locations of the lowest and highest evoked escape responses, t(16) = 2.79, p = .01. Overall, the preliminary results suggest that moderate to high levels of heat serves as an aversive stimulus for M.H.C., and the magnitude of the evoked escape response is a function of the heat stimuli location.
29. The Effects of Food Deprivation as an Establishing Operation on Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Domain: Basic Research
ERIN ELIZABETH WYLIE (Northern Michigan University), Luke Andrew Whitehouse (Northern Michigan University), Monica Jones (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Abstract: Establishing operations (E.O.s) are an important variable of measure in any reinforcement paradigm in behavior analytic research. Without quantification of E.O.s, such as food deprivation, analysis of the reinforcing effects of stimuli are ineffective. E.O.s in avian and mammalian experimental analysis of behavior (E.A.B.) subjects have been explored but little research has been done to explore E.O.s in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (M.H.C.). For example, values such as 80% free fed body weight are often used with pigeon experiments, however such values have not been established for M.H.C.s. Reinforcement research with M.H.C.s could be improved through the implementation of an effective E.O. prior to experimentation. Fluctuation in body weight cannot be used as a delimiter for organisms with exoskeleton carapaces as their weight does not fluctuate significantly between satiation and near death starvation states. Initial data of trials in which subjects have timed out indicates that an initial E.O. period of 32+ days is sufficient to induce a state of deprivation sufficient to consistently collect consummatory and approach data. Additional ranges of Food Deprivation (F.D.) states will be presented.



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