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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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

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Poster Session #278
Sunday, May 26, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
16. Establishing a Conditioned Place Preference Using Planaria: Comparing Nicotine to Cotinine
Area: BPN; Domain: Theory
BRADY J. PHELPS (South Dakota State University), May Dang (South Dakota State University), Skylind Dvoracek (South Dakota State University), Shafiqur Rahman (South Dakota State University)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: We will present data pertaining to the reinforcing properties of nicotine and its major metabolite, cotinine, using the invertebrate planaria as an animal model. The reinforcement effects will be assessed using the conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure. Since planaria typically how behavior described as being light phobic, the ability to reverse this light-avoidance behavior after an illuminated environment is paired with a reinforcer makes conditioned place preference fairly straightforward using this animal model. Unlike nicotine, cotinine apparently lacks stimulant properties but like nicotine, cotinine will establish a conditioned place preference. There is, however, only one study that has examined nicotine’s ability to establish a conditioned place preference in this invertebrate. Cotinine is of particular interest since it is the primary metabolite of nicotine, has a much longer half-life than nicotine and has never been shown to establish a conditioned place preference in other animal models. Cotinine has been shown to have some degree of generalization with nicotine in drug discrimination studies but no studies have examined whether cotinine would function as a reinforcer in an operant drug-self-administration procedure. Cotinine is the subject of translational research, currently studied as a neuroprotective agent in animal models of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
17. Drug Effects on ADHD Symptoms: Treatment Differences Between Spontaneously Hyperactive Rats and Conditioned Wistar Rats
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
SPENCER GARRISON (Allegheny College), Rodney D. Clark (Allegheny College)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Although the etiology of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has yet to be clearly elucidated, current research has suggested that multiple factors are involved in the development of the disorder. For individuals with a diagnosis of ADHD it is unclear whether their symptoms are caused by behavioral conditioning or whether genetic/biological factors are involved. The present experiment sought to evaluate the differences in the effects of d-amphetamine (1.32 mg/kg), a drug often used to treat hyperactivity, on the ambulatory activity (wheel running) of six spontaneously hyperactive rats (SHRs) and six Wistar rats. The Wistar rats underwent hyperactivity conditioning with daily IP injections of cocaine (10.0 mg/kg). The Wistar rats displayed activity levels equivalent to those of the SHR rats following conditioning. After d-amphetamine treatment, the conditioned Wistar rats showed marked decreases in activity levels while the SHRs exhibited an increase in activity levels (p = .015). The results of the present study suggest that there exist a difference in the effects of d-amphetamine based on the etiology of the hyperactive symptoms.
 
18. Opiates and Impulsive Choice: Effects of Oxycodone on Sensitivity to Reinforcement Amount
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
KATELYN HUNT (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: An increase in impulsive choice has been documented with the use and abuse of opioids. A change in sensitivity to reinforcement amount has been identified as a potential behavioral mechanism of this effect. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a drug-induced change in sensitivity to reinforcement amount with the opioid oxycodone. Seven male Sprague-Dawley rats responded under a rapid-acquisition, concurrent-chains choice procedure where two different reinforcer amount ratios (1:4 and 4:1) changed every five sessions. After response ratios accurately tracked changes in reinforcer amount every five sessions and sensitivity estimates were above .20, the effects of oxycodone at doses ranging from 0.3-1.7 mg/kg were determined. A select drug effect was found with certain doses such that sensitivity was decreased without a dramatic change in overall initial link response rates or bias. These results suggest oxycodone may increase impulsive behavior by decreasing sensitivity to reinforcement amount.
 
19. Effects of Housing Condition on Changes in Demand for Ethanol in Female Rats
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
GABRIELLE MARIE-ANNE SUTTON (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Courtney Wilkinson (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Kelly M. Banna (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Research suggests that animals housed in enriched environments self-administer less drugs than animals housed in standard or impoverished environments. This study investigated the effects of enrichment on demand and escalation of demand for ethanol in female rats. Sixteen rats were assigned to either enriched (n = 8) or standard (n = 8) environments. Animals in enriched environments were group housed (n = 4) in large cages with toys. Standard animals were housed individually in shoebox cages. Animals were trained to lever-press for ethanol on a fixed ratio 1 (FR 1), then FRs were increased every three sessions until animals failed to earn a reinforcer in any of those sessions. Animals then completed 21 days of self-administration at an FR 3, which was followed by a second demand analysis (in progress). Standard-housed animals a) reached significantly higher breakpoints in Demand 1 than animals housed in enriched conditions and b) did not significantly differ from enriched rats in reinforcers earned at an FR 1. This suggests that demand for ethanol is higher among individually housed rats than in those housed in enriched environments. Changes in demand over time as a function of housing environment will be evaluated following Demand 2.
 
20. The Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Reinstatement of Ethanol Seeking in Female Rats
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
COURTNEY WILKINSON (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Gabrielle Marie-Anne Sutton (Millersville University of Pennsylvania), Kelly M. Banna (Millersville University of Pennsylvania)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Effective long-term treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder is constantly challenged by the phenomenon of relapse. Relapse in abstinent alcoholics can occur for many reasons including an onset of stress (stress-induced), the presence of environmental cues associated with the drug (cue-induced), and/or the consumption of a small amount of alcohol or another drug (drug-induced). The current research investigated the effects of housing environment on self-administration, extinction, and reinstatement of ethanol-seeking. Sixteen female, Long Evans rats (eight sibling pairs) were housed in either enriched (n = 8) or standard (n = 8) environments. Animals lever-pressed for ethanol on a fixed ratio 3 (FR 3) schedule of reinforcement for 21 days. Ratios were then increased every three days until animals earned zero reinforcers on at least one day, at which point, responding was placed on extinction. Once responding meets extinction criteria (in progress), response rates will be evaluated following separate exposure to cues, ethanol, and stress. Differences in rates of responding will be evaluated as a function of a) housing condition and b) type of exposure. Results of this study may provide insight into contributing factors of human relapse and suggest potential interventions for alcohol abuse and relapse in humans.
 
21. Changes in the Elimination and Resurgence of Alcohol-Maintained Behavior Across Replications
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
JEMMA E. COOK (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Cassie Chandler (University of Kentucky), Daniela Rüedi-Bettschen (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Donna Platt (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Resurgence, the recurrence of suppressed behavior when reinforcement conditions worsen, may be a mechanism of relapse for those diagnosed with alcohol-use disorder following successful treatment. Pharmacological interventions may be developed to facilitate behavioral treatments of alcohol-use disorder and block resurgence. This first requires modeling the maintenance, treatment, and resurgence of alcohol-maintained behavior and assessing how this behavior changes across replications. In Phase 1, the lever-pressing of 11 rats was maintained by oral alcohol on a fixed-ratio schedule. In Phase 2, lever-pressing was extinguished and sweetened condensed milk was delivered on a differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior (DRO) schedule. In Phase 3, the DRO schedule was eliminated. This 3-phase cycle was replicated 4 times. Across replications, 1.) In Phase 1, response rates and dose of alcohol consumed did not significantly differ, 2.) In Phase 2, alcohol-maintained behavior was eliminated more rapidly, and 3.) In Phase 3, the resurgence effect was generally stable. In a second experiment, following the establishment of alcohol-maintained behavior in 4 groups of rats in Phase 1, naltrexone was administered in Phase 2, Phase 3, or both Phases 2 and 3 for separate groups. In Phase 2, naltrexone facilitated the elimination of alcohol-maintained behavior. In Phase 3, the resurgence of alcohol-maintained behavior was reduced only for those rats that received naltrexone in Phases 2 and 3. The resurgence of alcohol-maintained behavior is replicable within-subject and may serve as a useful model for the development of pharmacological interventions to facilitate behavioral treatments and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
 
22. Reinforcing and Sedative Effects of Triazolam and Pregnanolone Combinations in Female Rhesus Macaques
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
JEMMA E. COOK (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Donna Platt (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Daniela Rüedi-Bettschen (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Barak Gunter (Charles River Laboratories, Matawan, MI), James K. Rowlett (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Benzodiazepines (BZs) are prescribed as anxiolytics, but their use is limited by side effects including abuse liability and daytime drowsiness. Neuroactive steroids (NSs) are compounds that, like BZs, modulate the effects of GABA at the GABA-A receptor. In a previous study, combinations of the BZ triazolam and NS pregnanolone produced supra-additive anxiolytic effects but infra-additive reinforcing effects in male rhesus macaques. The sedative effects of these combinations and their reinforcing effects in females are unknown yet are critically important in assessing potential clinical utility of BZ-NS combinations. In Experiment 1, four female rhesus macaques were intravenously administered triazolam, pregnanolone, and triazolam:pregnanolone combinations in dose ratios of 1:1, 1:3, and 1:9. Trained observers, blinded to condition, scored the occurrence of species-typical and drug-induced behaviors across 160 min post-drug administration. Ataxia and deep sedation significantly increased and species-typical activities significantly decreased as a function of dose for all drugs. Triazolam:pregnanolone combinations had supra-additive effects in inducing deep sedation. In Experiment 2, three female rhesus macaques self-administered triazolam, pregnanolone, and triazolam:pregnanolone combinations intravenously under a progressive-ratio schedule. Triazolam:pregnanolone combinations had supra-additive reinforcing effects in two subjects but infra-additive reinforcing effects in one subject. Combinations of triazolam and pregnanolone produced supra-additive effects on deep sedation, significant increases in observable ataxia, and had supra-additive reinforcing effects in some subjects. Combinations of triazolam and pregnanolone may be useful as clinical sedative drugs in the context of treating insomnia or in surgical anesthesia, but sex differences in their utility may exist.
 
23.

Does Exposure to Alcohol-Related Media Influence Alcohol Purchasing?

Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
Ryan Powers (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Megan Bartz (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Maggie Smith (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Mackenzie Kropidlowski (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Abigail Schmidt (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Economic demand for alcoholic beverages can be assessed using the Alcohol Purchase Task (APT) where participants hypothetically buy drinks at set prices. The APT allows for detailed behavioral economic analyses including elasticity and breakpoint. In this experiment, participants were presented a scenario, completed a shortened version of the APT, watched 1 of 4 videos (pro-alcohol, anti-alcohol, neutral-alcohol and neutrol-no alcohol), were presented a second scenario, and then completed a second, but distinct, version of the APT. A full 4 (videos) X 2 (scenario order) factorial experiment was conducted, allowing for both between-conditions and within-subjects analyses. Results from sixty-one participants (n=61) suggest some influence of the different videos and scenarios. For example, economic demand for alcohol was significantly reduced by exposure to an anti-alcohol video in one scenario order, but not the other. However, the demand characteristics of the survey itself may have produced some of these effects. A full comparison of conditions, as well as an increase in sample sizes may assist in interpreting whether or not exposure to videos changes economic demand for alcohol.

 
24. Behavioral Skills Training to Improve the Ability to Pour a Standard Drink of Beer
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
NICOLE SCHULTZ (Auburn University), Emily Junkin (Auburn University ), Christopher J. Correia (Auburn University)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Assessing variables that affect behavioral skills training aimed at reducing alcohol-related risk has important clinical implications. Participants trained to pour a standard drink of beer received a dose of alcohol or a placebo dose and completed two additional free-pours along the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) curve. Data collected to date (n=8) suggest that participants were able to pour a standard drink of beer within the 10% training criteria range (12 oz) after a stimulus fading training procedure (M=11.34 oz, SD=0.42). After receiving a dose of alcohol (Mean BrAC=.080), free-pours increased slightly (M=11.48 oz, SD=0.62) on the ascending limb of the BAC curve, and slightly decreased back to baseline levels on the descending limb (M=11.38 oz, SD=0.48). After a placebo dose of alcohol (Mean BrAC=.00), free-pours remained as accurate as training pours on the ascending limb of the BAC curve (M=11.38 oz, SD=0.53), as well as on the descending limb (M=11.38 oz, SD=0.18). These preliminary data suggest that free-pouring a standard drink of beer is a trainable skill that persists despite a moderate dose of alcohol, as all pour across both the experimental and control conditions remained within the training criteria. However, additional data are necessary to support these conclusions.
 
25.

Effects of Time-Based Sequential Administration of Polydrug Abstinence Reinforcement

Area: BPN; Domain: Applied Research
FORREST TOEGEL (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), August F. Holtyn (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Shrinidhi Subramaniam (California State University, Stanislaus), Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Polydrug use is a common problem among patients in opioid substitution treatment, and can be difficult to treat. Abstinence reinforcement can decrease polydrug use when contingencies target single drugs sequentially, until abstinence is obtained for each drug. The present study examined effects of sequential administration of drug-abstinence contingencies delivered based on time – rather than on obtained abstinence. Adults in opioid substitution treatment (n = 91) were invited to work in the Therapeutic Workplace – an employment-based intervention for drug addiction – for 3 months. Participants gained access to paid work ($10/hr maximum) by providing urine samples three times per week. The urine samples were then tested for opiates and cocaine. During an induction period, participants earned maximum pay independent of drug abstinence. After induction, the amount of pay was contingent upon providing urine samples that were negative for opiates. Two weeks later, the amount of pay was contingent upon providing urine samples that were negative for both opiates and cocaine. Analyses of urine samples collected before and after the contingencies showed that abstinence from opiates and cocaine increased significantly after the contingencies were implemented. The results will be discussed in terms of previous research on abstinence-reinforcement interventions that target polydrug use.

 
26.

Episodic Remembering and Navigation as a Function of Stimulus Control Changes in a Virtual Environment

Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
OANH LUC (University of North Texas), Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Correct navigation, or the ability to remember where you are, has been attributed to the role of memory and neurobiological mechanisms. The neuroscientific literature implicates the hippocampus in spatial navigation, for example. While such accounts are important to consider, it is imperative to isolate functional relations between environmental events and behavior. Specifically, contingencies may select for certain patterns of behavior considered in spatial navigation. This study sought to examine such influences on navigation behaviors of adult human participants in a virtual simulation of a maze using the MazeSuite software. The maze design was adapted from Morris’ (1984) ‘water maze’ typically used on rats. Rats are dropped in a circular tub filled with opaque water and swim until they discover a hidden platform to stand on and escape the water. Subsequent trials show that rats get faster at finding the platform. Tests are then made to determine whether the rat was responding to spatial cues (i.e., stimulus-stimulus configurations of the environment), or responding to proprioceptive-based cues (i.e., stimulus-response properties). In similar fashion, participants navigate the same maze repeatedly until they have had practice encountering the hidden platform, or end goal, while the program takes measures of path length, duration, and virtual velocity. Tests are then implemented where hidden walls are placed in the same maze that blocks the movement of the user, thereby forcing them to remember direction, or S-R relations. However, if participants were using S-S cues to navigate, performance should very little be disrupted. Preliminary results of this study are discussed along with theoretical implications and future research.

 
27.

Effect of Positive Reinforcement on Response Competition in a Stroop Color-Word Task: A Neuro-Operant Experiment

Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
Amrita Pal (UNT), DANIELE ORTU (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to examine how positive reinforcement influences both the behavioral and neural stroop effects. More specifically, we examined how reaction time data and Event Related Potentials (ERPs) vary for congruent vs incongruent conditions within a Stroop task administered with and without positive reinforcement. The research question addressed was if positive reinforcement affected response competition as measured by lower Reaction Time in the congruent condition compared to the incongruent condition. Behavioral and EEG data collected on 16 participants are discussed.

 
28.

Dopaminergic and Cholinergic Neuromodulation: A Neuro-Operant Review and Interpretation

Area: BPN; Domain: Theory
Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas), APRIL M. BECKER (University of North Texas and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center)
Discussant: Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract:

Neuromodulation is one of the physiological mechanisms involved in selection by reinforcement of environment-behavior relations. Different neuromodulatory systems appear to be differentially responsive to appetitive and aversive stimuli, and they also partially innervate non-overlapping brain areas, creating an interesting behavioral and neuroanatomical mechanistic puzzle. Here we review the behavioral neuroscience and neuroanatomical literature on the Dopaminergic and Cholinergic systems. Our goal is to eventually propose a neuro-operant framework describing the interactions among all systems involved in neuromodulation.

 
 

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