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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #120
CE Offered: BACB
Behavioral and Verbal Behavioral Cusps: Research and Practical Applications
Saturday, May 23, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 202B
Area: AUT/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Richard E. Laitinen (Personalized Accelerated Learning Systems (PALS))
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.

This symposium addresses issues related to management and application of operant procedures to teach and extend both behavioral and verbal behavioral cusps within children and individuals who present with weak or missing cusp capabilities. The four presentations will include descriptions of clinical application of research findings in the area and discuss the importance and teaching of Naming as a verbal developmental cusp. To this end, the use of multiple exemplar instruction, speech generative devices and the role of contingent reinforcement and behavioral variability in establishing and extending Naming capabilities will be discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

BCBA clinicians.

Learning Objectives: 1. Well describe the differences between a behavioral cusp and a verbal behavioral cusp 2. Will relate the importance of behavioral cusp to the induction of naming 3. Will describe procedures to assess the emergence of bidirectional naming 4. Will describe the application of naming across repertoires
From Pointing to Naming
CRYSTAL FERNANDEZ (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas), MARLENE Lucy TAVERA (Easter Seals North Texas)
Abstract: Naming is considered a developmental cusp important for the acquisition of reading, writing, and other symbolic behavior (Greer and Longano, 2010). Naming requires the fusion of speaker-listener behavior (Greer and Speckman, 2009; Horne & Lowe, 1996). That is, the establishment of listener behavior is accompanied by the emergence of speaker behavior, without the need for training, or vice versa (Miguel, 2016). Procedures used to teach naming include multiple exemplar instruction (MEI), intensive tact training, reinforcement of observing responses, echoic training, and stimulus-stimulus pairing (Longano & Greer, 2014; Greer and Longano, 2010; Miguel & Petursdottir, 2009). This study shows a novel procedure that facilitates the fusion of speaker and listener behavior with minimal errors and minimal number of trials. In the procedure, the child points at a card and the therapist says the name. Preliminary results show that, with an eight-year-old child with autism, expressive and receptive identification emerged quickly and with minimal errors without direct training. Furthermore, results indicate that this procedure also led to the demonstration of untrained relations. Results of this study will be discussed in terms of program design, with particular attention on how to bring language under the control of natural contingencies of reinforcement.
The Systematic Teaching of the Components Needed to Use Speech-Generating Devices: A Replication Study
SARA POLGAR (David Gregory School ), Gladys Williams (CIEL, SPAIN)
Abstract: The purpose of the current intervention was to investigate if we could replicate the findings of Lorah et. al. (2014). In their study they used within stimulus prompting and prompt fading to systematically teach learners to use speech-generating devices. This preliminary data shows that this participant could learn to use the speech-generating device when taught the components systematically. We were not able to replicate the findings with the other participants. We can hypothesize that the lack of behavioral cusps such as attending, pointing, or absence of generalized reinforcers were responsible for the lack of progress.
The Efficacy of Multiple Exemplar Instruction in the Acquisition of Naming as a Verbal Behavioral Cusp
GLADYS WILLIAMS (CIEL, SPAIN), Richard E. Laitinen (Personalized Accelerated Learning Systems (PALS)), Shubhra Ghosh (Florida Institute of Technology, Dpt of Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: The present study illustrates the efficacy of multiple-exemplar instruction to establish bidirectional Naming capabilities in a learner presenting with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Data show that, for this learner, the acquisition of a generalized, higher-order Naming operant as a verbal behavioral cusp requires repeated application of the Naming training protocol across multiple sets of materials. This learner showed uneven and differential patterns of acquisition that reflect the possible influence of previously acquired stimulus functions (ASFs).

Behavior Analysis and Variations: The Case of Behavioral Changes

MIKE PERFILLON (University of Lille), Vinca Riviere (University of Lille ), Martha Pelaez (Florida International University)

Behavior analysis investigates behavioral change in human and animal. Inspired from a selectionist analogy which has been largely adopted in biology, behavior analysts have focused on interactions between behavior and environmental contingencies to explain these changes. However, in these investigations, consequences have been maybe one of the main themes since the works of Skinner (Skinner & Ferster, 1957). This talk aims at replacing the place of behavioral variations in the selection process. Indeed, if consequences enable selection of responses, at an optimum level behavioral variations are involved in this process. In fact, literature with animal has demonstrated that behavioral variation facilitates the acquisition of new responses (Grunow & Neuringer, 2002). Considering the importance of behavioral variability, we ran an experiment in which we compared the emission of repetitive and variable behaviors in the acquisition of complexes target sequences with four groups of human participants (n=20). We found that at the opposite of repetition, behavioral variability facilitates the acquisition of complexes responses. These results are congruent to literature with animal (Grunow and Neuringer, 2002) but different from those with human (Bizo & Doolan, 2013).




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