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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #296
Behavior During Extinction: More Than a Frictionless Vacuum
Sunday, May 26, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich BC
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Brian R. Katz (West Virginia University)

Extinction commonly is defined as the reduction or elimination of responding when a response that was previously reinforced no longer is followed by the reinforcer. Extinction typically culminates in the rate of the previously reinforced behavior declining to baseline levels, often zero. Although the general effects of extinction on responding have been well documented, relatively few systematic investigations of changes in behavior during extinction have been carried out. For instance, little is known about the overall time course of changes in behavior throughout extinction, how variations in the manner in which the procedure is implemented may alter patterns of responding, or the extent to which rates of alternative responses may change as a target is extinguished. Thus, the three talks in this symposium will address the effects of extinction on different aspects of behavior. These will include assessments of resistance to extinction as a function of delay to reinforcement, how the frequency of targeted and non-targeted alternative responses change following the onset of extinction, and how the time allocated to two alternatives changes when one is replaced with extinction.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): DRO, Extinction, Reinforcement Delay, Time Allocation
Extinction of Time Allocation
BRIAN R. KATZ (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Time allocation has been proposed as an alternative to discrete responses for measuring behavior. If the two measures are comparable, then both changes in time allocation and patterns of discrete responding across two alternatives should change similarly when one alternative is extinguished. However, no systematic investigations of changes in time allocation throughout extinction have been conducted. Thus, eight pigeons first were trained on a baseline concurrent variable-time (VT) VT schedule during which each response switched between the components. Subsequently, one component was replaced with extinction. This sequence was repeated at minimum four times. Across conditions, the parameters of the schedule in effect during baseline (i.e., fixed-time or variable-time schedules, and the mean interreinforcer interval) were varied to investigate the effect of extinction following each of the different baseline conditions. With concurrent VT 60-s VT 60-s schedules, there was little evidence of an extinction burst of time allocation, as it occurred during only one of 17 transitions to extinction. Furthermore, time allocated to the extinguished component decreased across extinction sessions during all instances of the extinction phase. However, there were substantial differences in the rate of this decrease across transitions to extinction. Additional experimentation with concurrent fixed-time (FT) FT schedules and different interreinforcer intervals may reveal if the occurrence of bursts of time allocation is modulated by the discriminability of the transition to extinction. Furthermore, analyses of moment-to-moment changes in time allocation throughout extinction may prove useful for future investigations into the discriminability of transitions to extinction.
Delay of reinforcement, response rates and resistance to change
LUCIANA PINHEIRO MARIN (University of Brasília), Carlos Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil)
Abstract: The effects of reinforcement delay on resistance to extinction were investigated. 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, 8-s or 12-s schedule was in effect. In baseline, reinforcement rates were similar between components; in three conditions, response rates were similar between the components and, in seven conditions, response rates were higher in the immediate than in the delay component. In eight of ten conditions, resistance to extinction was greater in the delay than in the immediate component, regardless of the difference in baseline-response rates 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. The present results fail to replicate those of previous studies with pigeons.
Further Measurement of Other Behavior During the Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior
MARCELLA HANGEN (University of Kansas), Ashley Romero (University of Kansas), Pamela L. Neidert (The University of Kansas), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) is a commonly used procedure for reducing problem behavior. However, few studies have directly measured the possible strengthening effects of other behavior when a DRO procedure is used. We compared the effects of DRO and extinction on a target response, targeted other response, and non-targeted other responses (e.g., requests) emitted by children diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities and children with no-known diagnoses. Results showed that other behavior increased in at least one of the DRO conditions for each participant suggesting that other behavior may increase when using DRO, at least initially. During the extinction condition, target and targeted other responses decreased to low rates for three participants; however, rates of non-targeted other behavior were elevated compared to the DRO condition. These results suggestion that increased rates of targeted and non-targeted other behavior during the DRO condition may be a result of extinction-induced variability.



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