Association for Behavior Analysis International

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45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Poster Session #75
Saturday, May 25, 2019
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Hyatt Regency East, Exhibit Level, Riverside Exhibit Hall
Chair: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
1. Stimulus Substitution in European Nightcrawlers: Conditioning Vibration to Produce a Crawling Response
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KELLY BERTH (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Stimulus-substitution theory explains how the conditioned stimulus paired with an unconditioned stimulus can elicit the same response (Hilgard, 1936). After repeated exposure, the conditioned stimulus can be said to substitute for the unconditioned stimulus. This study is using the unconditioned stimulus of light paired with a neutral stimulus of vibration to produce a crawling response in the European Nightcrawler. Four subjects, divided into groups of two, are being used for two different experimental conditions. Condition one will use forward conditioning, using vibration and light, to see if the subjects escape the light box apparatus into the darker compartment. Condition two will then use a reversal to show true experimental control. Once the subject has escaped into the darker compartment, the vibration will be turned on to see if the subject will then crawl back to the compartment with no light or vibration. Currently, the subjects have been exposed to four, 15-minute habituation trials. The subjects have also been exposed to 10, 5-minute trials of light only in the apparatus to ensure they can escape. Conditioning trials will follow to obtain results.
 
2. Discriminated Escape Response of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach to Butane Combustion
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ERIN ELIZABETH WYLIE (Northern Michigan University), Ally Vacha (Northern Michigan University), Paul Thomas Thomas Andronis (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: The use of invertebrates in the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) comes with a variety of advantages such as reduced cost, minimal upkeep requirements, and less regulation than vertebrates. Historically, little of this research has been conducted using the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (MHC). The current study seeks to expand upon the use of heat as an aversive stimulus for MHC through the teaching of an auditory discrimination. Preliminary results with three female MHC showed a greater escape response during trials where Tone 1 was followed by the presentation of a heat stimulus than trials where Tone 2 was followed by no presentation of a heat stimulus. A two sample t-test confirmed the statistical significance of this difference, t(42) = 5.26, p < .00001. Although preliminary results are significant, the subjects’ response timings revealed escape was initiated most often after the cessation of the tones, indicating tone discrimination has not yet been acquired. Overall, the preliminary results suggest that although heat serves as an aversive stimulus for MHC, the discrimination between the tones failed to develop during preliminary trials. Further trials will be conducted in a Rescorla-Wagner model of pairings to determine what is necessary to teach MHC this auditory discrimination.
 
3.

Measuring Transfer of Stimulus Control: Pigeons Acquiring Behavioral Skills

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALLISTON K. REID (Wofford College), Elizabeth Kyonka (University of New England, Australia), Sarah Cowie (University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

Transfer of stimulus control is an essential feature of many acquisition procedures, such as in errorless learning, fading, treatments for prompt dependence, and skill learning. Learning new behavioral skills often involves the transfer of stimulus control from discriminative stimuli present during early training to new endogenous cues that gain stimulus control with extended practice, often leading to skill autonomy. Four studies examined how behavioral skills may become autonomous by developing reliable practice cues when the originally predictive cues were modified or eliminated. As exteroceptive cues were degraded and eliminated over four successive phases using multiple schedules, pigeons solved the discrimination problem by transferring stimulus control to other available exteroceptive and endogenous cues. By measuring and comparing conditional discriminations in signaled vs. unsignaled components, we quantified the degree of stimulus control and measured changes in discriminative control across sessions. The final phase eliminated all discriminative stimuli. Pigeons achieved autonomy by ingeniously developing a new behavioral skill that could always yield reinforcement, but not via the transfer of stimulus control observed in Phases 1-3. Transfer of stimulus control to other available exteroceptive and endogenous cues is one process that may lead to skill autonomy, but it’s not the only one.

 
4.

Social Enrichment Effects on Demand for Food With Fixed and Random Outcomes

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KATHERINE GARLAND (Reed College Student), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College), Ana Carolina Trousdell Franceschini (Banking Standards Board - UK)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

This study compared operant behavior on fixed ratio (FR) and random ratio (RR) food reinforcement schedules in enriched and non-enriched female Sprague-Dawley rats. The enriched rats were given post-session access to enrichment objects and other rats; non-enriched rats were kept in standard housing. Demand functions were generated for all subjects under both FR and RR schedules, with schedule order counterbalanced across subjects. Rats from the enriched group consistently responded at higher rates and at higher prices than did rats from the non-enriched group. Additionally, non-enriched rats showed the typical schedule difference, with higher levels of responding on RR than comparable FR schedules. Such differences were absent for enriched rats. For enriched rats, there was correlation between response rates on the FR schedule and social dominance in the enrichment setting. The results both join with other findings on the facilitative behavioral effects of enrichment, and add a much-needed level of quantitative rigor to the analysis of enrichment effects.

 
5. Failure to Find Altruistic Behavior in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HAORAN WAN (Reed College), Cyrus Fletcher Kirkman (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Prior research has found that one rat will release a second rat from restraint in the presence of food, thereby allowing that second rat access to food. Such behavior, clearly beneficial to the second rat and costly to the first, has been interpreted as altruistic. Because clear demonstrations of altruism in rats are rare, such findings deserve a careful look. The present study aimed to replicate this finding, but with more detailed methods to examine more systematically if, and under what conditions, a rat might share food with its cagemate partner. Rats were given repeated choices between 5 pellets of food and 10-s social access to familiar rat in an open economy, with free access to food and the social partner outside the 60-min sessions. Social access was arranged by lifting a door to a restraint, within which the partner rat was held. Rats responded consistently for both food and social interaction, but sharing occurred at very low levels across sessions and conditions (mean < 1%, across subjects and conditions), even under conditions in which the rats were satiated. The results are therefore inconsistent with claims in the literature that rats are altruistically motivated to share food with other rats.
 
6.

Effects of Deprivation Level on Food Motivated Responding in Fatty and Lean Zucker Rats

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALE CARRILLO (The University of Kansas), Stefanie S. Stancato (University of Kansas), Jennifer L. Hudnall (The University of Kansas), David P. Jarmolowicz (The University of Kansas)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

Obesity is one of the most prevalent behavioral disorders in the United States affecting approximately 40% of the adult population. Nearly 93.3 million individuals suffer from aversive clinical issues comorbid with obesity, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Currently, the role of motivating operations (MO), or the stimulus control that alters the value of a commodity, in obesity is unknown. Further, present technology used to explore genetic and behavioral interactions in obesity remains subpar. Fatty Zucker rats are widely used to model and test genetic obesity as they are Leptin-deficient; Leptin being a chemical mediator of energy balance and food intake suppressor. In this study, a reversal design was used to analyze the effects of deprivation on food motivated responding using 6 fatty and lean Zucker rats. Motivation was assessed via lever-pressing demand tasks following baseline (deprivation) and experimental condition (satiation). Data analysis suggests elevated food motivation in the fatty rats across many work requirements despite food satiation. This is significant as it addresses the role of MOs in genetic obesity and provides potential behavioral targets to address satiation and obesity.

 
7.

Assessing Cross-Price Interactions Between Food and Social Reinforcement

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CYRUS FLETCHER KIRKMAN (Reed College), Haoran Wan (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract:

Prior research has shown that responding can be maintained under concurrent food and social reinforcement in rats, but little is known about interactions between these reinforcers. In the present study, we approached the problem from a behavioral economic perspective, using demand-curve methods to analyze interactions between food and social reinforcement. Four rats were given repeated choices between food and 10-s of social access to a familiar rat on concurrent schedules. Social access was arranged by lifting a door to a restraint, within which the partner rat was held. The price of social access was held constant at fixed ratio (FR) 1 across all conditions, while the price of food was systematically increased from FR 1 to FR 64. Of interest was cross-price elasticity, or demand for social reinforcement as a function of changes in the price of food reinforcement. Food responding was maintained at lower to moderate prices but declined to low levels at higher prices. Social responding was relatively constant at the lower to moderate food prices but increased when food responding dropped at the higher FR food prices, suggesting a substitutable relationship. The methods show promise as a way to quantify interactions between qualitatively different reinforcers.

 
8. Direct Extinction of Repetition
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SIV KRISTIN NERGAARD (OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University), Per Holth (OsloMet -- Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Identifying the underlying processes of varied behavior has proven elusive. Neuringer has suggested an “endogenous stochastic process” underlying “responding unpredictably” as an operant. The standard view is that variability is selected when reinforcement is contingent on it. This view implies at least three things: (1) different responses cycle between reinforcement and extinction, (2) repetition is consistently extinguished, and (3) reinforcement is distributed such that responding persists. This experiment arranged contingencies with these three characteristics without making reinforcement directly contingent on variability. The subjects were 4 experimentally naïve water-deprived male Wistar Kyoto rats. Reinforcement was contingent on a complex pre-determined number of lever-presses on one of two available operanda. Several stereotypic patterns would satisfy the contingency. If a pattern emerged, sequences containing this pattern would not be reinforced. The result of this contingency was average U values between U 0,69 and U 0,94, for all sessions. The fact that variability can emerge from other situations than a variability contingency does not disprove the “endogenous stochastic process” hypothesis. But, as intermittent-extinction is continuously present in any differential reinforcement contingency, rendering control conditions impossible, it is relevant to ask how much of the variable responding in variability experiments is due to intermittent extinction.
 
9. Immediate-Reward Training Increases Impulsive Choice in Experienced Lewis Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Rachel Loyst (St. Lawrence University), Hannah Mungenast (St. Lawrence University), Cole Poulin (St. Lawrence University), ADAM E. FOX (St. Lawrence University)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: A strong preference for smaller-sooner rewards (SSR) over larger-later rewards (LLR) is associated with a host of behavioral maladies, including substance abuse, obesity, risky sexual behavior, and texting while driving. A growing body of literature suggests that forced, extended exposure to delayed rewards may increase preference for LLR during subsequent choice tasks in rats. Recent research also suggests, however, that the opposite may be true: extended, forced exposure to immediate rewards may decrease preference for LLR during subsequent choice tasks. In the present experiment 23 male Lewis rats were exposed to a pretest delay discounting task. A control group was then weighed and fed for 31 days and an intervention group was exposed to 31 days (3,000+ trials) of immediate-reward (Fixed-Ratio 2) training. All rats were then tested in a posttest delay discounting task. Results indicated a significant decrease in LLR choice for intervention rats in the posttest. There were no significant changes in LLR choice from pretest to posttest for the control rats. These findings suggest that extended, forced exposure to immediate rewards may decrease LLR choice, much like extended, forced exposure to delayed rewards increases LLR choice.
 
10. Demand and Preference for Specific and Generalized Reinforcers in Pigeons: Does Economic Context Matter?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JAMES GLASS (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: This study examined pigeons’ demand and preference for specific and generalized token reinforcers across a range of economic contexts. Specific (green) tokens could be exchanged for food, specific (red) tokens could be exchanged for water, and generalized tokens could be exchangeable for either food or water. All 3 possible pairwise choice combinations were assessed (food vs water, generalized vs food, generalized vs water) under 4 different economy types: closed (all food and water consumption occurred within experimental sessions), open (free access to food and water outside of experimental sessions), closed-food (all food available within the session, free access to water outside the session) and closed-water (all water available within the session, free access to food outside the session). Demand functions were generated within each set of pairwise comparisons by systematically increasing the fixed-ratio price of token production, and analyzed in relation to the exponential demand model. The study builds on prior research by expanding the range of economic contexts in token demand and preference as well as general principles of substitutability between generalized reinforcers and specific reinforcers.
 
11. Effects of Prevailing Reinforcement Rate on Punitive Functions of Shock and Timeout Punishment
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CORY WHIRTLEY (West Virginia University), Vince Alexander Bello (West Virginia University), Forrest Toegel (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Punishment procedures are commonly used to suppress severe challenging behavior in clinical settings. Despite the prevalence of punishment procedures, information regarding environmental conditions that influence the effectiveness of these procedures is still insufficient. In a series of three laboratory experiments, effects of the prevailing rate of reinforcement on punished responding was examined. In the first two experiments, responding was punished through timeout from positive reinforcement. Rats’ lever pressing was maintained on variable-interval (VI) schedules of food reinforcement. A punishment contingency was evaluated across components of a multiple schedule (Experiment 1) or across conditions (Experiment 2) in which presses also produced a 30-s timeout according to a variable-ratio schedule. Across conditions of each experiment, the VI schedule was manipulated to produce reinforcement rates ranging from 0.5 to 6 pellets per min. Experiment 3 (currently underway) uses the same design as Experiment 2 to evaluate effects of reinforcement rate on the suppressive function of electric shock rather than timeout. The results from these experiments will be compared to help clarify the relations among reinforcement rate, response strength, and the punitive functions of aversive stimuli.
 
12.

Choice Between Immediate Food With Delayed Shock and Delayed Food Alone

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FORREST TOEGEL (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

Some problematic human behavior occurs when a single choice produces consequences that include both reinforcing and aversive outcomes. The present experiment explored this type of choice situation with rats by investigating how the value of an immediate food reinforcer followed by a shock changes as a function of the delay to the shock. The rats chose between two food pellets delivered immediately and followed by delayed shock, and two food pellets delivered alone after a delay. Within each condition, the delay to food was adjusted based on the rats’ previous choices until both consequences were chosen equally often and the delay to food was stable. At this “indifference point,” the delayed food was equal in value to the immediate food followed by shock. Across conditions, the delay to shock was manipulated. Generally, the shock devalued the immediate food to the greatest extent when the delay to shock was short, and the effects of shock weakened as the delay was raised in a pattern resembling a hyperbola. The finding that effects of aversive events on choice are weakened by delay parallels research on temporal discounting of positive reinforcers.

 
13.

Analysis of Different Dimensions of Behavior Under Fixed Ratio and Fixed Interval Schedules of Reinforcement

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
VARSOVIA HERNANDEZ ESLAVA ESLAVA (Universidad Veracruzana), Alejandro Leon (Universidad Veracruzana), Jairo Tamayo (Universidad Veracruzana), Porfirio Toledo (Universidad Veracruzana), Martha Avendaño (Universidad Veracruzana), Carlos Hernández (Universidad Veracruzana), Esteban Escamilla (Laboratorio Nacional de Informática Avanzada), Jonathan Castillo (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

We describe the implementation of five different measures of behavior: directionality, vigor, preference, variation and persistence to analyze and represent the effect of food delivery according to Fixed-Ratio and Fixed-Interval schedules of reinforcement. The subjects were 4 rats, divided in two groups. We used an enlarged experimental chamber of 92 cm x 92 cm with three levers and one food dispenser. Responses on any lever produced reinforcers according to the current schedule. In different phases, the location of levers (on the same or different walls) and schedule of reinforcement (Fixed Ratio-1 or Fixed Interval-30s) varied. We found that the five measures of behavior were sensitive to the current schedule of reinforcement and that changes in some of those dimensions did not correlate with changes in other measures of behavior. The importance of analyzing different dimensions of behavior and thinking of new forms of representing behavioral data will be discussed.

 
14. Don't Let Go: An Analysis of Short-Duration Presses in Rats Responding Under Fixed-Duration Schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Kabas Elmeligy (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), Nicole Nadeau (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), Brianna Lamb (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), THOMAS P. BYRNE (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract: When reinforcement is arranged for lever holding for fixed durations, rats will often emit many responses which are too short to meet reinforcement criteria. Bimodal distributions of durations obtained with fixed-duration schedules are similar to distributions of inter-response times typically recorded under differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedules. If reinforcer delivery is provided upon continuous lever depression, rather than depression and release, the potential role of timing can be minimized. However, even under these conditions, our laboratory has documented bimodal distributions of response durations. The goal of the current investigation was to perform a descriptive analysis of sub-criteria durations in rats responding under fixed-duration schedules of food delivery. Rats emitted individually-unique and repetitive responses we characterized as idiosyncratic. Sub-criteria durations were often recorded in the midst of bouts of pressing, biting, and sniffing which sometimes resulted in momentary release of the response lever before it was quickly depressed again. Although premature hopper entry was observed, it accounted for a minority of sub-criteria durations.
 
15.

Sexual Behavior and Feeding in Wistar Rats

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FELIPE DIAZ (Guadalajara University), Maria Acero (Guadalajara University), Jonnathan Gudiño (Guadalajara university), Jaime Gutiérrez (Guadalajara University)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

Sexual behavior and feeding have been described separately without specifying the interaction of both under the same contingencies. It has been affirmed that the analogous behavioral repertoires described in both behaviors could be to the manipulation of the same variables. The purpose is to analyze sexual and feeding behavior through the manipulation of reinforcement parameters: magnitude, delay and novel sexual stimulation. Four experiments were designed that are logically concatenated. In Experiment 1, the effect of a novel sexual stimulation on sexual behavior and feeding will be described. In Experiment 2, the effect of the deprivation of sexual activity will be analyzed according to the receptivity of the females. Experiment 3 will describe sexual behavior based on Lee's Body Mass Index and Experiment 4 will compare the copulatory efficacy of standard males versus a common male rat. The design of the experiments follows the Mixed Factorial Design, fully covering the sources of internal disability and obtaining external validity, show effect and interaction of the manipulated variables. The contribution consists in showing the generality of the principles of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior to the case of sexual behavior and its interaction with food, two basic behavioral repertoires common to all organisms.

 
16.

Effect of Four Reinforcers on Feeding Behavior in Rats

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Felipe Diaz (Guadalajara University), JAIME GUTIÉRREZ (Guadalajara University), Jonnathan Gudiño (Guadalajara University), Maria Acero (Guadalajara University)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

The empirical evidence about the use of different reinforcers still does not clearly show its replaceability. In the present study the effect of four reinforcers on feeding behavior in rats is described throughout three independent experiments. In Experiment 1 rats were food deprived and rolled pellets were delivered. In Experiment 2 the rats were water deprived and 0.10ml of water was delivered. For both experiments a CRF on a lever was used to feed rats during one-hour of experimental sessions. In Experiment 3 rats were food-deprived and industrial pellets or tapioca was delivered according to a VI 10, 20 or 30 seconds on successive experimental phases. The temporal distribution for all the reinforcers used was similar to the typical patterns for food commonly used in experimental chambers. Response rate was higher for industrial pellets, followed by tapioca, rolled pellets and water, in this order. These findings suggest that it is feasible to replace the traditionally used industrial pellets by cheaper ones to generate evidence comparable with both, operant and motivation literature. It is analyzed the usefulness of cheaper reinforcers with different palatability.

 
17.

Variability, Rats, and Red Bull: Revisiting the Question With a Multiple Schedule and Body Surface Area-Based Dosing

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Matthew Andrzejewski (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Paige Orfield (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Ryan Powers (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), NEIL GRAUPNER (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Nate David Popodi (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

Behavioral variability has been proposed as a dimension of operant behavior that is vulnerable to environmental manipulations. For example, it has been demonstrated that variability of 4-lever press sequences can be affected by dopamine drugs such as amphetamines and SKF-38393. In a previous experiment, we tested the effects of over-the-counter energy drinks on variability of rats sequential responding. Three rats were trained on a procedure similar to that of Neuringer (1991) and Pesek et al. (2011) where sequences of four level presses were reinforced if they were novel compared to the past eight response sequences, referred to as a lag 8 condition. While the OTC energy drink Red Bull did not appear to have any discernible effects on U (entropy – the variability of emitted sequences), a control component from the experiment was missing. In this experiment, we will directly replicate those of Pesek et al. (2011) using a multiple schedule which includes a control condition. In addition, we will provide doses of energy drinks determined by body surface rather than weight, as indicated by current literature.

 
18. Behavioral Contrast in Multiple DRL-PR Schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Ryan Powers (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Nate David Popodi (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Matthew Tarrant (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Grace Schmaling (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Anai Parker (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), John Harrison (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract: Changes in rate of responding in one component of a multiple schedule produced by changes in the reinforcement probability of another component are termed “behavioral contrast.” In the present experiment, we explored the possibility that changes in reinforcement in one component might affect “motivation” for the reinforcer in a second component. Three rats were exposed to a 2 component multiple schedule, where lever presses in one component were reinforced on DRL schedule and a PR-5 in the other. The value of the DRL (3.75”, 7.5”, 15”, and 30”) was manipulated across phases, within-subjects, in a pseudo-random way and changed only after stable performance was obtained. The present experiment, therefore, explored the possibility that changes to the DRL schedule might affect measures of responding (rate, breakpoint) in the PR component. Preliminary data indicate an effect of DRL value on PR responding, in the direction predicted. That is, responding on the PR appears to increase when the DRL schedule is made leaner.
 
19.

Behavioral Assessment of Intracytoplasmic Sperm InjectionMice

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno - Behavior Analysis Program), Christina M. Peters (University of Nevada, Reno - Behavior Analysis Program), MATTHEW CHRISTOPHER PETERSON (University of Nevada, Reno - Behavior Analysis Program), Yue Wang (University of Nevada, Reno - Department of Biology), Huili Zheng (University of Nevada, Reno - Department of Biology), Wei Yan (University of Nevada, Reno - Department of Biology), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno - Behavior Analysis Program)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an in vitro fertilization (IVF) method that involves the direct delivery of spermatozoon into the ooplasm of an egg. Since its introduction in 1992, ICSI has grown in popularity and is now the most commonly used IVF method worldwide. Despite this, some concerns have arisen regarding the procedure, namely that it circumvents natural sperm selection at the level of conception and could therefore lead to adverse postnatal outcomes. These concerns have led researchers to begin investigating ICSI outcomes in both humans and mouse models. This poster describes the first stage of an interdisciplinary collaboration in which we investigated operant learning in ICSI mice. First generation ICSI mice (n = 26) and naturally-conceived controls (n = 28) were compared across a battery of operant conditioning procedures: nose poke acquisition, a discrimination task, a do-not-match-to-position (DNMTP) recognition memory task, and retention assessments to measure the extent to which DNMTP performance was maintained across longer periods of time. The main finding was differences between ICSI and same-sex controls in nose poke acquisition and the discrimination task performance. We consider the implications of these initial findings for further behavioral research with ICSI mice.

 
20.

Differences in Risk-Sensitive Foraging due to the Availability Heuristic

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BAINE B. CRAFT (Seattle Pacific University), Rachel M Donka (Seattle Pacific University), Joshua Paul Sevigny (Seattle Pacific University)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

The availability heuristic (reliance on recent events or information for decision making) is a systematic bias in human cognition. Few studies have been conducted to determine if the availability heuristic impacts risky decisions or if animals utilize such heuristics. This experiment sought to determine if recent events influenced risk sensitivity in rats. Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to a Win and Loss Group. Both groups chose between a constant option that delivered 2 100% sugar pellets following a 3 s delay (p = 1.0)and a variable option that delivered 2 pellets 100% sugar pellets after a 1 s or 5 s delay (p = .5). In the Win Group (n = 10) subjects experienced a run of good luck or short delays prior to choices while the Loss Group (n = 10) experience a run of bad luck or long delays prior to choice. No statistically significant difference in choice was observed between groups (see Figure 1). These findings indicate that recent events or the availability heuristic do not drive variable or risky decision making. Rather, data is best described by the sequential choice model, which predicts that animals make choices in a chronological manner as they encounter different choice options.

 
21.

The Influence of Caffeine on the Process of Insight

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ROBERTO SOARES PESSOA NETO (Universidade Federal do Ceará, UFC), Marcela Prata Oliveira (Universidade Federal do Ceará, UFC), Yulla Christoffersen Knaus (Universidade de São Paulo, USP), Daniely Ildegardes Brito Tatmatsu (Universidade Federal do Ceará, UFC)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract:

This research has the purpose to investigate the influence of the use, chronic and acute, of caffeine in insight learning process on albino Wistar rats. The research was divided on six stages: 1) Discriminative training to signalize reinforcer availability; 2) an open field test; 3) a pre-test with each animal in the experimental cage; Then the animals will be divided into three groups, a control group (GC), an acute-use caffeine group (GCA) and a chronic-use caffeine group (GCC), each one with four animals; 4) consists on an independently training of dig and climbs repertoire; 5) individuals of each group were displayed to a puzzle that needed previous learned repertoire to be solved; 6) they were placed on the open field teste for the second time. Results shown that in the training stage all group had similar results, although GCC showed a better result on both repertoires then GCA. On GCC group all subjects were able to solve the problem, but in the GC and GCA only two animals solved the problem. Overall the acute-use of caffeine may produce a better performance on problem solving situations and it also can affect some process of learning.

 
22. The Sequential Choice Model Evidenced by a Risk-Sensitive Foraging Procedure in a Mammalian Species
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BAINE B. CRAFT (Seattle Pacific University), Joshua Paul Sevigny (Seattle Pacific University), Rachel M Donka (Seattle Pacific University)
Discussant: Marcelo Vitor Silveira (Universidade Federal do ABC)
Abstract: Within Risk-sensitive Foraging literature, scalar utility theory has been criticized due to its assumption that foragers encounter multiple patches simultaneously and chose based on a cognitive comparison of alternatives. The sequential choice model instead predicts that animals make decisions chronologically as they encounter different foraging patches. This study manipulates amount and delay in successive trials to further demonstrate the effectiveness of the sequential choice model. Using Sprague Dawley rats (n = 9) as subjects, reward amount and delay were manipulated to compare the two models across four treatments. Conditions were presented to subjects using a within-subjects design in ABACAD order. In the baseline (Condition A), a fixed option resulted in 6 100% sugar pellets following a delay of 2s (p = 1.0) whereas a variable option resulted in 6 100% sugar pellets after a delay of either 1s or 3s (p = .5). Conditions B, C and D had progressively smaller rewards and higher delays. We predicted increasingly risk-prone behavior in each of these conditions. Results confirmed expectations; subjects became statistically significantly more risk-prone when delay increased and quantity decreased (see Figure 1). Furthermore, subjects choices were best described using the sequential choice model.
 
23. Effects of Social Enrichment on Adjusting to a Fixed-Interval Schedule Following Variable-Ratio Conditioning
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CASSANDRA ANDERSON (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage), Elizabeth Schuerch (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: An investigation was conducted on the influence of social enrichment on fixed-interval (FI) performances of rats following experience on a variable-ratio (VR) schedule of reinforcement. The subjects were 8 male Wistar rats housed either in pairs (n = 4) or individually (n = 4). Both groups of rats were trained on a VR 20 schedule of reinforcement for 48 sessions before being transitioning to an FI 30-s schedule of reinforcement for 90 sessions. On average, response rates decreased as would be expected for the isolated group (p = .03) but did not change significantly in the socially housed group and in fact increased on average. Despite previous reports that social enrichment enhances learning, the current experiment shows that only the isolated group adjusted appropriately to the feedback from the FI schedule. This finding is consistent with other research suggesting that social enrichment may inhibit motivation by lowering the incentive value of food reinforcers.
 
24. Within-Session Changes in Operant Responding as a Function of Reinforcer Quality
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KATHLEEN ROBIN MCNEALY (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mary Pharr (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Slow habituation to food reinforcers can increase total food consumed and lead to overeating and obesity; however, to our knowledge, there have been no studies examining the speed of habituation based solely on flavor preference. To examine within-session changes in operant responding based on flavor preference, we conducted a hedonic value assessment of four flavors of BioServ pellets with similar caloric value, fat, and sugar content (i.e., Banana, Sucrose, Chocolate, & Grain) on five Wistar rats using a paired-comparisons procedure and calculated hedonic values based on Thurstone (1927) to determine the preference order for each animal. Subjects were placed on a variable interval (VI) 7.5-s schedule for 30-min operant sessions and allowed to reach stability on each flavor in a counterbalanced order. Within-session patterns of responding were quantified by McSweeney, Hinson, and Cannon’s (1996) quantitative model: P=b/e^aT-c/(c+T). The parameters reflecting habituation (i.e., a & b) differed as function of flavor preference with subjects exhibiting slower habituation to their most preferred flavor [a F(3,12) = 8.24, p = .003; b F(3,12) = 7.19, p = .005]. Results suggest that more preferred food items result in slower habituation regardless of nutritional properties, which has implications for dietary interventions.
 
25.

The Relationship of Food Restriction, Sign-Tracking, and an Earthquake to Within-Session Changes in Operant Responding

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ANNIKA FLYNN (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Eric S. Murphy (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Operant responding may habituate (decreased responsiveness over time) or sensitize (increased responsiveness over time) to repeatedly-presented reinforcers (McSweeney & Murphy, 2014). These within-session changes have been studied as they relate to broader behaviors such as addiction and food intake. 16 male Wistar rats were classified as either sign-trackers (n = 8) or goal-trackers (n = 8) in a Pavlovian conditioning task and then trained on a variable interval 7.5-s schedule of reinforcement. Groups did not differ in habituation, sensitization, or response rates when food restricted. Free-feeding decreased responding similarly in the two groups and did not affect habituation or sensitization. Additionally, because of previously documented increases in sensitization caused by aversive stimuli, 6 subjects were tested the day of a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Within-session patterns of responding differed significantly between the day of the earthquake and the previous day F(29, 145) = 2.23, p = .001, with larger increases and smaller decreases observed after the earthquake. Taken together the current results are consistent with previous findings that (1) within-session decreases in operant responding are attributable to habituation rather than satiety, and (2) aversive stimulation can increase responsiveness to unrelated stimuli, including positive reinforcers.

 
27.

Can a Single Model Describe Discounting Across Amounts, Signs, and Commodities?: A Quantitative and Machine-Learning Attempt

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DAVID J. COX (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Patrick Johnson (California State University, Chico), Matthew W. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Delay discounting is sometimes discussed as a trait variable – a pre-existing characteristic people bring to a situation. A trait approach suggests an association between discounting across outcomes characteristics (e.g., amount, commodity, and gain/loss). A trait approach would predict related, but not necessarily equivalent, discounting across characteristics. In contrast, a specificity approach suggests people do not possess an underlying discounting trait and there should be little-to-no relationship between discounting across outcome characteristics. In this study, we used traditional quantitative analyses and machine learning to describe data obtained from 23 cocaine- and 24 never-using individuals. Participants completed 16 total discounting tasks spanning: gains and losses; money, health, and cocaine; and, amounts of $10, $100, and $1000. When traditional models incorporate independent parameters for amount, commodity, gain/loss, and discount rate, we found that a single discount parameter described discounting well only across amounts, but not across the other domains (commodity, gain/loss). In contrast, machine learning suggested a single discounting parameter could describe discounting well across all domains.

 
28. Correlations Between Delay Discounting and Cognitive Abilities
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
YU-HUA YEH (Washington University in St. Louis), Yanjie Zhou (Wuhan University), Rebecca Williams (Washington University in St. Louis), Joel Myerson (Washington University in St. Louis), Leonard Green (Washington University in St. Louis)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Delay discounting refers to the decrease in the subjective value of an outcome as the time until its occurrence increases. The literature on the relation between delay discounting and cognitive abilities is unclear, with findings typically based on limited sample sizes and including only a few measures of cognition. The present effort evaluated correlations between degree of delay discounting and performance on 11 cognitive tasks using data collected from 1206 young adults, 22-35 years old, from the Human Connectome Project. After correcting the p-values for multiple testing and controlling for income level and education, only four of the cognitive abilities evaluated proved to be significantly correlated, albeit weakly, with delay discounting: fluid intelligence, reading decoding, vocabulary comprehension, and spatial orientation. Other measures of cognition (e.g., episodic memory, sustained attention, executive function/cognitive flexibility, executive function/inhibition, working memory) were not significantly correlated with degree of discounting. The present findings suggest that delay discounting has a weak relation with some specific cognitive abilities, but not with others, and argue for further investigation into processes that support or moderate the relation between delay discounting and cognitive abilities.
 
29. Effects of Real and Hypothetical Outcomes on Discounting of Delayed Choices With a Video Game
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
GISEL G. G. ESCOBAR (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Sandra Ferrer (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM), Silvia Morales Chaine (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Although one of the most representative findings on the delay discounting is the lack of differences between hypothetical and (potentially) real outcomes, some studies have made comparisons to identify those differences, using arrangements that are, by their nature, distinct in the levels of delay and the characteristics of the reward. The present experiment assessed the effect of hypothetical outcomes vs. real delays and rewards, using a video game. Thirty-two adolescents (12 to 15 years old) were required without drug abuse disorder or obesity. A whiting-subject factorial design 2x2 was used, considering the type of outcome: video game (real delays and rewards) and a traditional delay discounting task (hypothetical delays and rewards). The order of presentation was randomized across participants (i.e., hypothetical-real outcomes or real-hypothetical outcomes). An adjusting amount procedure (Du, Green, & Myerson, 2002) was used with five delays (5, 10, 20, 40 y 80 seconds), through four trials. The overall data analysis shows that the adjustment to the mathematical functions (R2 > 0.80), the area under the curve (either with bar graphs or curves), and the statistics (ANOVA repeated measures) have harmony to show greater delay discounting of real delays and rewards using video games, than for hypothetical outcomes.
 
30.

Using a Video Game to Evaluate Probability Discounting With Real and Hypothetical Outcomes

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALMA LUISA LÓPEZ FUENTES (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Ruth García (National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM), Silvia Morales Chaine (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

In probability discounting research, comparing real and hypothetical outcomes has mixed results. Furthermore, it seems necessary a test that asserts the understanding of the probability concept before the discounting tasks. The aim of this study was to compare the probability discounting (i.e., choose for probabilistic bigger rewards vs. certain smaller rewards) with real and hypothetical outcomes. Thirty-two teenagers (12-15 years old) participated. First, a condition for training the probability and certainty concept was conducted. The probability discounting tasks followed an adjusting amount procedure. Four trials were used in five levels of probability: 10%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 90%. The standard amount was 16. The real outcomes were programmed in a video-game. In one option the smaller certain reward was delivered (i.e., medals and trophies). In the other option, a tombola was presented, and the reward was delivered or not depend on the probability programmed. The hypothetical probabilities and rewards were programmed in a traditional probability discounting task. The order presentation of the probabilities and each task were randomized. In both tasks, higher adjustment was observed with hyperboloid (R2> .80) than hyperbolic model. No differences were found between tasks. Video-games could facilitate the identification of risk-taking in a target population.

 
31.

Body Mass Index and Body Fat Percentage in Delay-Discounting of Consumable Rewards

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DALIA K. JARDINES (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Raul Avila (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

It has been found that people with obesity tend to choose smaller-immediate amounts of money instead of greater-delayed ones, which reflects impulsive instead of self-controlled behavior according to the delay-discounting procedure. In previous studies conducted in the laboratory of the authors, the relation between the participants’ weight and their delay-discounting rates for different kinds of consumable rewards was shown. Globally, teenagers with higher body mass index (BMI) showed more self-controlled behavior, measured with delay-discounting rates, for soda and fast food than for water and healthy food, respectively. However, different results were found with body fat percentage (BFP). The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the generality of the delay-discounting findings of our previous studies, with adults and with both health indices, BMI and BFP. Sixty-one adults between 18 and 50 years old were exposed to a delay-discounting task, which tested five rewards that varied in its calorie level: water, soda, healthy food, fast food, and money as a control. The amounts of the rewards were varied according to an adjusting-amount procedure. The results were like those of our previous studies; that is, adults with higher weight showed more self-controlled behavior, measured with delay-discounting rates, for soda and fast food than for water, healthy food, and even money. These results were similar for both, BMI and BFP and contribute to the study of self-control as a state behavior, which changes according to features of both rewards and participants.

 
32. Discounting I for You: A Test of the Effects of Generic-You on Delay Discounting
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KENNETH W. JACOBS (University of Nevada, Reno), Laura Barcelos Nomicos (University of Nevada, Reno), Matt Locey (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: Two experiments were conducted to test the effects of the verbal stimulus functions of “you” on hypothetical, monetary delay discounting in undergraduates. Experiment 1 exposed 37 undergraduates to two discounting tasks that differed only in terms of the verbal prompt presented in each: “Which do you prefer?” vs. “Which should you select?” The former prompt was dubbed the Prefer version because the usage of “you” presumably functions to engage a single individual’s preference alone. The latter prompt was dubbed the Should version because the usage of “you” was generic-you, which presumably functions to engage people in general, or what is expected based on the rules and norms of their group. We hypothesized that when participants were exposed to the Should version, they would discount larger, delayed monetary rewards less than when exposed to the Prefer version. There were no significant differences between Prefer and Should versions in Experiment 1, so Experiment 2 altered the presentation of verbal prompts by presenting “Which do you like?” and “Which should you choose?”—in larger and different colored fonts—to 30 additional undergraduates. There were significant differences between Like and Should versions in Experiment 2, indicating that generic-you results in shallower discounting curves. Implications regarding the wording of hypothetical delay discounting tasks, and rules more generally, are discussed in terms of their potential influence on human decision-making.
 
33. The Effects of a Relation Training Procedure on Individual and Group Context Discounting
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LAURA BARCELOS NOMICOS (University of Nevada, Reno), Matt Locey (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract: The devaluing of future outcomes has been examined extensively in terms of discounting in the field of behavior analysis. The role of language is highlighted in the discounting literature by several studies demonstrating how the framing of questions and options effect discounting (see Koffarnus et. al., 2013 for a review). There are a few studies that have sought to alter discounting by targeting proposed underlying language processes (for an example see Dixon & Holton, 2009). The current study examines how particular form of relation training may influence subsequent responding on discounting task. Participants first completed a baseline measure of both individual and group-context discounting. This was followed by a relational training task that required participants to pair the words “you” and “other” with the words “bad” and “good.” All participants experienced two versions of the relational tasks, each including different combinations of “you” or “others” and “good” or “bad.” Discounting measures followed each instance of training. Preliminary analyses suggest a complex interaction across responses at different delays. Four participants show a particularly consistent response pattern for the 3-year and 5-year delays, decreases in discounting are noted after the “You-Good” training and an increase in discounting after the “Others-Bad.”
 
34.

An Exploration of Variables Impacting Progressive Ratio Schedules

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
COURTNEY SMITH (University of Nevada, Reno), Matt Locey (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: David J. Cox (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Abstract:

Progressive ratio (PR) schedules are often used to identify the value of a reinforcer, which is often defined by the point at which an organism stops responding. This point, the breakpoint, however, can be impacted by procedural considerations such as the starting response requirement, the algorithm used for increasing the response requirement, the rate of reinforcement, the criteria for identifying the breakpoint, and the context in which the PR schedule is arranged. The current presentation uses PR schedules to assesses the effectiveness of two putative reinforcers for completing a ratio requirement under varying contexts. Manipulations such as the response required to access the reinforcer and the use of a progress bar are focused on primarily and are assessed through measuring the total responses emitted and the total ratios completed per reinforcer. Results suggest that contextual variables such as the progress bar and response type impacts measurement of the reinforcer value.

 
 

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