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 #231
Basic and Translational Research on Renewal, Resurgence, and Reinstatement
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Carolyn Ritchey (Auburn University)
Discussant: Andrew R. Craig (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Effective interventions for socially significant problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injury) are susceptible to treatment relapse. Renewal, resurgence and reinstatement are laboratory models of relapse which could occur following successful treatment of problem behavior. Renewal occurs when responding eliminated by extinction returns following a change in environmental context. Resurgence occurs when reducing or eliminating reinforcement for an alternative response increases a previously reinforced and then extinguished response. Reinstatement refers to the reoccurrence of a target response following the presentation of stimuli that previously maintained that response. Research on renewal, resurgence, and reinstatement could facilitate the development of methods to better understand and mitigate treatment relapse. This symposium comprises four presentations. Kaitlyn Browning will present a translational study examining the effects of alternative-response discrimination training on resurgence in rats. Amanda Miles will discuss the effects of presenting conditioned reinforcers while extinguishing an alternative response on resurgence in pigeons. Carolyn Ritchey will present the results of several studies examining extinction, renewal, and resurgence in human participants recruited using Amazon Mechanical Turk. Finally, Ashley Bagwell will present the results of a series of translational studies examining reinstatement in non-clinical populations and individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Andrew Craig will serve as discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): reinstatement, resurgence, translational research, treatment relapse
Repeated Resurgence With Conditioned Reinforcement
AMANDA MILES (West Virginia University), Brian R. Katz (West Virginia University), Anthony Oliver (University of Vermont), Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Resurgence, transient increase in previously reinforced responses after eliminating alternative reinforcement, is an indication of behavioral flexibility under changing conditions. Prior experiments showed delivery of either reinforcers or their associated stimuli (conditioned reinforcers) while extinguishing alternative responses decreases resurgence magnitude. However, these associated stimuli were not shown to function as conditioned reinforcers. Thus, the present experiment aimed to identify stimuli that functioned as conditioned reinforcers and then determine if their presentation mitigated resurgence. Four experimentally naïve male White Carneau pigeons were exposed to a repeated within-session resurgence procedure (Cook & Lattal, 2019). In each session responses in the Alternative Reinforcement phase were reinforced under a variable-ratio (VR) 40 schedule with presentation of food and a blue light. In Resurgence Test phases food delivery was omitted, but a light still was presented on the same VR-40 schedule. On even-numbered sessions the blue light was used, whereas on odd-numbered sessions a novel orange light was used. For all pigeons a greater magnitude of resurgence was observed during odd-numbered sessions. Further, higher rates of alternative responding during even-numbered sessions indicated that the blue light did function as a conditioned reinforcer. Therefore, presentation of conditioned reinforcers while extinguishing an alternative response does mitigate resurgence.
Examination of Alternative-Response Discrimination Training on Resurgence in Rats
KAITLYN BROWNING (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University)
Abstract: Resurgence is an increase in a previously suppressed behavior following a worsening of conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative behavior. Given the clinical relevance of resurgence, many have assessed procedures that may be used to mitigate resurgence. For example, Fuhrman, Fisher, and Greer (2016) showed that, following alternative-response discrimination training, presentation of a stimulus that signaled the unavailability of alternative reinforcement (S-) eliminated resurgence. In a reverse-translational experiment, we aimed to replicate and extend these findings in rats. Following baseline in which the target response was reinforced, rats received discrimination training in which the alternative response produced food in one component of a multiple schedule (S+) and was on extinction in the second (S-), while target responding was placed on extinction in both. In the final phase, resurgence of target responding was assessed in both components by removing alternative reinforcement in the S+ component. Resurgence occurred at comparable rates in both components. One potentially important difference between the current study and Fuhrman et al. is that they tested only in the presence of the S- whereas we tested for resurgence in both S+ and S-. Additional experiments designed to examine this difference will be discussed.

Evaluating Extinction, Renewal, and Resurgence of Operant Behavior in Humans With Amazon Mechanical Turk

CAROLYN RITCHEY (Auburn University), Toshikazu Kuroda (Aichi Bunkyo University), Jillian Rung (University of Florida), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University)

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a crowdsourcing marketplace providing researchers with the opportunity to collect behavioral data from remote participants at a low cost. Recent research demonstrated reliable extinction effects, as well as renewal and resurgence of button pressing with MTurk participants. To further examine the generality of these findings, we replicated and extended these methods across six experiments arranging reinforcement and extinction of a target button press. In contrast to previous findings, we did not observe as reliable of decreases in button pressing during extinction (1) after training with VR or VI schedules of reinforcement, (2) in the presence or absence of context changes, or (3) with an added response cost for button pressing. However, we found that that a 1-point response cost for all button presses facilitated extinction to a greater extent than the absence of response cost. Nevertheless, we observed ABA renewal of button pressing when changing background contexts across phases and resurgence when extinguishing presses on an alternative button. Our findings suggest that MTurk could be a viable platform from which to ask and address questions about extinction and relapse processes, but further procedural refinements will be necessary to improve the replicability of control by experimental contingencies.

Translational Evaluations of Reinstatement of Responding: Reinstating Effects of Previously Neutral Stimuli
ASHLEY BAGWELL (University of Texas at Austin), Terry S. Falcomata (The University of Texas at Austin), Andrea Ramirez-Cristoforo (The University of Texas at Austin ), Fabiola Vargas Londono (The University of Texas at Austin)
Abstract: Reinstatement is a type of relapse that involves the recurrence of responding during response-independent delivery of reinforcing stimuli following extinction. It has been suggested that the mechanism responsible for reinstatement involves the taking on of discriminative stimulus properties by reinforcing stimuli. We will present data from a series of studies that focus on relapse in the form of reinstatement across several translational experimental preparations including arrangements with (a) non-clinical responses with non-clinical populations that served as analogues to clinical situations in which there may be a risk of reinstatement of problem behavior and (b) reinstatement of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Specifically, we evaluated the effects of response independent provision of previously neutral stimuli following extinction in which reinforcing stimuli were withheld. Our results showed (a) reinstatement is an effect that may represent a challenge to treatment with regard to clinical relapse in the form of recurrence of problem behavior and (b) factors other than the discriminative properties of reinforcing stimuli may contribute to reinstatement of responding. Results will be discussed both in terms of potential clinical implications as well as possible future directions in translational and applied research contexts.



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