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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #66
CE Offered: BACB
Extending the Renewal Literature Through Basic and Translational Research
Saturday, May 29, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Area: EAB; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Madeleine Keevy (University of Nebraska Medical Center; Children's Specialized Hospital - Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services)
Discussant: Michael Kelley (University of Scranton)
CE Instructor: Madeleine Keevy, M.S.

Although behavior-analytic treatments are often effective in achieving initial reductions in a target behavior, target behavior may relapse due to changes in reinforcement or stimulus conditions. Renewal occurs when changes in the stimulus context following treatment produce relapse of extinguished behavior. Researchers typically examine renewal using a three-phase arrangement. After reinforcement of target behavior in Context A followed by extinction in Context B, the organism transitions to Context A (ABA renewal) or a new context (ABC renewal), and extinction continues. This symposium presents four basic and translational renewal studies that demonstrate the varied applications of the renewal paradigm. Our first presenter will present a study conducted with rats that compared ABA renewal after extinction or omission training in Phase B. The second presenter will describe two studies conducted with rats: the first using an ABC renewal preparation, and the second examining the effects of discriminative training on ABC renewal. The third presentation details a series of translational studies modeling renewal of problem behavior in dual-language homes and by multilingual individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. The final presenter will speak about a translational renewal study conducted in an analog organizational setting.

Target Audience:

Researchers interested in the experimental analysis of behavior, translational research, and relapse research will be an appropriate target audience. Practitioners interested in understanding the behavioral mechanisms of relapse of undesirable behavior may also be appropriate.


ABA Renewal After Response Elimination With an Extinction or an Omission Contingency

CATALINA REY (University of Vermont), Eric A. Thrailkill (University of Vermont), Kate Goldberg (University of Vermont), Mark E. Bouton (University of Vermont)

Insights from extinction research have been useful to researchers and clinicians in the domain of applied behavior analysis. Behavioral treatments are effective for producing initial reductions in problem behavior; however, relapse after treatment is common and a major barrier to treatment efficacy. It is possible that relapse might be influenced by the specific response elimination technique and that different treatments for problem behavior might be differentially susceptible to relapse. The present study compared ABA renewal after responding was eliminated by extinction or omission training in rats. In this experiment, lever pressing was reinforced with food pellets in Context A and then eliminated with either extinction or omission training in Context B. The response was then tested in Contexts A and B in either the presence or absence of free food pellets delivered on a random time schedule. All rats showed higher responding when tested in Context A than Context B, and there was little evidence that omission training attenuated this ABA renewal effect. Also, noncontingent pellets increased responding after extinction but not after omission training. The results provide new information about factors creating relapse after omission training.

Context-Discrimination Training During Treatment May Reduce ABC Renewal
WILLIAM SULLIVAN (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Andrew R. Craig (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Kaitlyn Browning (Utah State University), Nicole DeRosa (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Emily L. Baxter (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Henry S. Roane (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Craig, Sullivan, and Roane (2019) showed that intermittently re-exposing rats to reinforcement for lever pressing in a training (A) context while eliminating lever pressing in a second (B) context increased ABA renewal of lever pressing relative to rats that experienced only Context B during response elimination. Experiment 1 replicated their procedure while assessing renewal in the presence of a novel context (i.e., ABC renewal). Unlike in Craig and colleagues’ experiment, renewal was reduced in the group that experienced re-exposure to Context A during lever-press elimination relative to rats that experienced only Context B. In Experiment 2, rats pressed levers in a two-component multiple schedule. For one group, reinforcement was delivered at the same rate in both components. For the other, lever pressing was reinforced in one component but not in the other. Overall reinforcer rates were controlled between groups. In a test where a novel discriminative context was introduced under extinction, rats in the group that experienced discriminative training lever pressed less than rats that experienced non-discriminative training. Together, data from both experiments suggest discriminative training reduces the probability that organisms will respond in novel contexts.
An Evaluation of the Effects of Multiple Languages on Renewal of Responding
FABIOLA VARGAS LONDONO (The University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Ashley Bagwell (The University of Texas at Austin), Andrea Ramirez-Cristoforo (The University of Texas at Austin ), Monique Barnett (The University of Texas at Austin), Travis Wong (The University of Texas at Austin), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Renewal is a type of relapse that involves the recurrence of responding during changes in stimulus context. Renewal is typically characterized by a sequence of phases in which baseline reinforcement of responding is following by conditions in which responding is eliminated. Renewal in the form of recurrence of responding can occur when changes in stimulus context occur while response-elimination contingencies remain unchanged. Neely et al. (2019) demonstrated that language can impact the recurrence of problem behavior in the form of resurgence. We will present the results of an experiment in which we focused on the effects of language as stimulus context on the recurrence of responding in the form of renewal. Specifically, we will present data from a series of translational experimental preparations including arrangements with (a) non-clinical responses with non-clinical multilingual individuals that served as analogues to clinical situations in which there may be a risk of renewal of problem behavior in dual-language homes and (b) renewal of non-clinical responses exhibited by multilingual individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Results will be discussed both in terms of potential clinical implications as well as possible future directions in translational and applied research contexts.

Operant Renewal of Desirable Behavior in a Simulated Workplace: A Translational Model

MATTHEW NOVAK (University of Kansas), Abigail Blackman (University of Kansas), Tyler Erath (University of Kansas), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (University of Kansas)

Relapse may be a particularly relevant framework for understanding the ways in which stimuli influence employee responding, given that organizational settings are replete with changing stimulus contexts and contingencies. The purpose of this use-inspired basic study was to develop a translational model to evaluate workplace contexts within a renewal framework that focused on the renewal of desirable employee behavior. Adults without a diagnosiscompleted a computerized check processing task in a simulated workplace environment in which color-correlated stimuli served as contextual changes across phases. Findings demonstrated renewal of desirable behavior across all six participants. The current study and its findings extend the human operant literature on renewal by demonstrating one type of translational model that may bring together operant renewal and organizational behavior management. Implications of these findings as they apply to performance management of staff and future research will be presented.




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