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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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

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

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Poster Session #427
EAB Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 31, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Online
1.

Children With Cochlear Implants Demonstrate Auditory Sentence Comprehension via Simple Discrimination Training With Specific Auditory-Visual Consequences

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDERSON NEVES (UNESP-Bauru), Ana Claudia Moreira Moreira Almeida Verdu (Universidade Estadual Paulista), Leandra Silva (HRAC/USP-Bauru), Adriane Moret (USP-Bauru), Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

The present study investigated the potential effects of visual simple discrimination training with two-components specific consequences on auditory comprehension in children with cochlear implants (CI) based on derived conditional relations and the formation of equivalence relations. The stimuli were dictated and written pseudo-sentences, and abstract and representative pictures. Visual simple discriminations involving written pseudo-sentences (C) and abstract figures (D) were taught. Correct selections (S+) were followed by specific consequences with two components: dictated pseudo-sentences (A) and representative pictures (B), presented simultaneously. Probes of arbitrary matching to sample assessed derived auditory-visual (AB, AC, and AD) and visual-visual (BC, CB, BD, DB, CD, and DC) conditional relations. All three participants learned simple discriminations, and two showed derived conditional relations and formation of ABCD classes, demonstrating auditory comprehension to pseudo-sentences. The present study replicates and extends previous results on sentence learning in children with CI, and suggests that simple discrimination training with two-components specific consequences may be a way to promote auditory-visual and symbolic relations.

 
2.

Reinforcing Effects of Stimuli Correlated With a Multiple Schedule of Negative Reinforcement Based on Shock-Frequency Reduction

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JUAN CARLOS FORIGUA VARGAS (Konrad Lorenz University Foundation), Camilo Hurtado Parrado (Troy University & Konrad Lorenz Fundación Universitaria)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the reinforcing effect of a pair of stimuli related with two components of a multiple schedule of negative reinforcement based on a shock frequency reduction procedure (Hernnstein & Hineline, 1975). Previous attempts to evaluate the reinforcing effects of discriminative stimuli correlated with avoidance contingences have included the Sidman avoidance procedure and have shown that only stimuli related with free-shock periods (security signals) are effective as conditioned reinforcers. In the present study the discriminative and delta function of two stimuli were trained during a multiple schedule of negative reinforcement composed by avoidance and extinction schedules. The avoidance schedule delivered shocks with a probability of 0.35 each 2 s. Avoidance responses reduce the probability of shock delivering to 0.10 each 2 s. Responses during extinction schedule were not effective to reduce the shock probability. Responses to a second lever produced the respective discriminative or delta stimuli depending on the experimental phase. Discriminative and delta stimulus were tested as conditioned reinforcers during different phases of two experiments. There was not evidence in regard the reinforcing effect of the delta stimulus. Results were consistent with the conditioned reinforcing account of the observing behavior.

 
3.

Test–Retest Reliability of the Experiential Discounting Task Between Different Rewards

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
CARLOS ADRIÁN PALOMERO JANDETE (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Silvia Morales Chaine (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Gisel G. Escobar (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Alma Luisa López Fuentes (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

Delay discounting has been studied extensively using animal models with psychophysical adjustment procedures. Many procedures have been developed to assess delay discounting in humans and many of these procedures use hypothetical rewards and delays. The Experiential Discounting Task (EDT)was developed to assess human delay discounting using real rewards and delays. In the present study we examined the test–retest reliability of the EDT using different rewards. Construct validity was evaluated by comparing the EDT giving a reward with videogame time with an EDT with food reward and a standard delay discounting task. We stablished a base line on 3 evaluations keeping the same delays, then we increased the delays in 25% on 2 sessions and we returned to the baseline. Both EDT had poor test–retest reliability and discounting rates obtained with those task were uncorrelated with those obtained in the standard delay discounting task. R square was negatively correlated with scores on stress measured by biological markers. This correlation may suggest that a higher stress modify the stability of the decisions. These findings suggest the EDT measures a different construct than that measured by traditional delay discounting tasks and the EDT measures the same construct with different rewards

 
4.

An Investigation of the Implementation of Self-Monitoring Preschoolers in Head Start on Challenging Behavior

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SAMANTHA RIGGLEMAN (Saint Joseph's University)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

Addressing the needs of preschoolers with challenging behavior is important, as these issues often have long-term impacts on the outcomes of students (Fox et al., 2002). Self-monitoring strategies and techniques have the potential to improve the outcomes of this population of children. Although preschoolers are capable of self-monitoring (Otero & Haut, 2015), it is not widely used in early childhood education settings. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of self-monitoring on appropriate, teacher preferred behavior in preschool-age children who had elevated scores on a social-emotional development questionnaire that indicated that additional follow up and assessment might be needed to intervene on challenging behaviors. Participants were two preschool lead teachers, two paraprofessionals (i.e., classroom aides) and 4 preschoolers ages 4 and 5. The research used a single case multiple baseline across participants research design. Preschoolers, during the intervention phase, were taught how to self-monitor and momentary time sampling was used across 3-minute intervals for 15 minutes daily to record their targeted behaviors and their procedural fidelity of self-monitoring. The results will show that preschoolers are able to self-monitor with a high level of procedural fidelity; however, there were limitations on the effectiveness of self-monitoring on their targeted behavior.

 
5.

Treatment Integrity of Experimental Articles in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (1980-2019)

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
JUSTIN BOYAN HAN (University of South Florida; California State University, Los Angeles), Jennifer Feng (California State University, Los Angeles), Michele D. Wallace (California State University, Los Angeles)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract:

Treatment integrity is integral to valid research and ethical practice in behavior analysis. The application of procedures in practice should be based on scientific knowledge. Thus, ensuring correct implementation of independent variables in research plays a cogent part in evidence-based practice. Researchers have evaluated treatment integrity in the literature (Peterson et al., 1982; Gresham et al., 1993; McIntyre et al., 2007). We extended these previous reviews by analyzing if treatment integrity was assessed and independent variables were operationally defined and coded for error type. Results indicated an increase in the number of articles reporting the assessment of treatment integrity (5% to 68%). However, independent variables were inconsistently defined, and few specified the type of errors (e.g., omission or commission) assessed. The value of analyzing treatment integrity in research will be discussed as well as suggestions for future research and best practice.

 
6. Symmetry in Pigeons by Concurrent Training of Arbitrary and Oddity Matching
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MASAKI ISHIZUKA (Meisei University; JSPS), Takayuki Tanno (Meisei University)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract: Campos, Urcuioli, and Swisher (2014) demonstrated symmetry in pigeons by concurrent training of arbitrary and oddity matching using a successive (go/no-go) matching-to-sample procedure. In the present study, we replicated Campos et al.’s experiment using four types of clip-art images to examine whether the symmetry in pigeons could be observed when stimuli without category distinction are used. Six pigeons were trained arbitrary (A1→B1, A2→B2) and oddity (A1→A2, A2→A1, B1→B2, B2→B1) matching using successive matching-to-sample procedure. In reinforcement trials reinforcers were presented on a fixed-interval 10-s schedule. As a result of training, a discrimination ratio for each task stabilized at 0.8 or higher in 2/6 pigeons, and was approximately 0.8 for another 1/6 pigeon. Subsequently, these 3/6 pigeons were subjected to the tests for symmetry (B1→A1, B2→A2). The results showed that 2/3 pigeons demonstrated the symmetry with larger differences in response rate between positive and negative trials--which is successful replication of Campos et al. This results support the Campos et al.’s idea that concurrent identity matching training is not necessary for symmetry in pigeons.
 
7. Effects of Immediate-Reward Training on Delay Discounting: Experiment 3
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ADAM E. FOX (St. Lawrence University)
Discussant: Luiz Henrique Santana (University of São Paulo, Brazil)
Abstract: A strong, consistent preference for smaller-sooner rewards (SSR) over larger-later rewards (LLR) is associated with a number of health-related behavior problems. Numerous studies show that forced, extended exposure to delayed rewards increases preference for LLR in rats. It is also possible that forced, extended exposure to immediate rewards decreases preference for LLR in rats, but research is mixed. Here we present the results of the third experiment in a series investigating how chronic exposure to immediate rewards may impact choice in a delay discounting paradigm. In the present experiment, 24 naïve male Long Evans rats were exposed to a pretest delay discounting task. A control group was subsequently weighed and fed for 31 days and an intervention group experienced 31 days (3,000+ trials) of immediate-reward (Fixed-Ratio 2) training. All rats were then tested in a posttest delay discounting task. In the posttest, rats that experienced the immediate reward training choose the SSR more than the control group at all three LLR delays. These differences, as well as within group differences from pre to posttest were non-significant, however. Results were directionally consistent, though, with results from Experiments 1 and 2 suggesting exposure to immediate rewards may decrease LLR choice.
 
8.

Assessing Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease With the Use of Conditional-Discrimination Procedures

Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
ANETTE BROGAARD BROGÅRD ANTONSEN (Oslo Metropolitan University), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract:

In the present study, participated an 86-year-old man with Alzheimer´s disease and an MMSE score at 18. The participant was presented for identity matching with colors in three phases. It was alternated between (A) delayed matching-to-sample 0s (DMTS 0s) and (B) simultaneous matching-to-sample (SMTS). The conditions were arranged as an ABABAB-design. In the first phase, training and testing employed yellow, blue, and red. In the second phase, the participant was presented for the same conditions with another set of color stimuli (green, orange, purple). The third phase was the same as Phase 1. The results showed that the participant met the criterion for mastery in the two first phases (see Table 1). However, in the last phase the participant did not reach the criterion for mastery. When a new MMSE was assessed after Phase 3, the results showed that the MMSE was reduced to 14. Also, the care personnel did report behavioral changes related to the progression of the disease after the experiment was conducted, which may suggest that this type of training and testing is sensitive to detect progression of the disease. Keywords: Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, simultaneously matching-to-sample, delayed matching-to-sample, identity matching.

 
9.

A Human-Operant Demonstration of ABA Renewal Following Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KACEY FINCH (West Virginia University), Catherine Williams (West Virginia University), Kathryn Kestner (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract:

Renewal is a type of behavioral relapse that is dependent on changes in contextual stimuli in the environment. We investigated ABA renewal of responding previously reduced by a differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) procedure. The conditions in an ABA renewal procedure may be analogous to the phases of behavioral treatment of challenging behavior; Context A is present during baseline (e.g., target response is reinforced in the home environment), Context B is present during treatment (e.g., an intervention is applied in a clinic), and the post-treatment context returns to Context A (i.e., renewal test). In the present study, undergraduate college students participated in a Zoom video call during which they responded by clicking on a rectangle in a computer program created in Visual Basic©. The session consisted of 15-min baseline, DRO, and renewal test phases. In baseline, the target response was reinforced according to a fixed-interval 10-s schedule. In the second phase, omission training was implemented according to a DRO 10-s schedule. The same DRO contingency was in effect during the renewal test. Contextual changes were changes in the color of the screen background (i.e., yellow during baseline and renewal test; blue during the DRO omission training phase) across phases.

 
10. Time-Out during Alternative Reinforcement Does Not Reduce Resurgence: An Exploratory Study
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CATHERINE WILLIAMS (West Virginia University), Alexander Lucas Houchins (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract: Resurgence of previously suppressed behavior can occur when differential reinforcement is discontinued. Recent research has investigated strategies to mitigate resurgence, including punishing the target response during alternative reinforcement. A punishment strategy consisting of reinforcer loss contingent on the target response (response cost) does not appear to attenuate resurgence, but these effects had not been replicated with other negative-punishment procedures, such as timeout. This study investigated effects of timeout on subsequent resurgence when adults responded to earn points during a computer task. A multi-element design was embedded in a three-phase resurgence procedure to compare of resurgence following negative punishment (in the form of timeout) of the target response to that following extinction of the target response. Timeout did not affect subsequent resurgence. These findings, in combination with previous research, suggest that negative punishment may not reduce the likelihood of subsequent resurgence.
 
11.

Exploring Variables That May Influence Conditional Discrimination in an Older Adult With Vascular Dementia

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HANNA STEINUNN STEINGRIMSDOTTIR (Oslo Metropolitan University), Anette Brogaard Brogård Antonsen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Silje Boye-Hansen (Oslo Metropolitan University), Heidi Grete Aasland (Oslo Metropolitan University), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract:

Individuals with neurocognitive disorders (NCD) may forget the names of their loved ones. The purpose of the presented studies was to explore the effect of two variables on participants responding during face-recognition training in an older adult diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. The conditional discrimination procedure was used for the presentation of three stimulus classes, each with three members: (1) picture, (2) name, and (3) family relation of the participants significant others. Experiment 1 explored the effect of the (1) length of the inter-trial interval (ITI) (either 2,000ms or 5,000ms) while using either (2) simple-to-complex (STC) or the simultaneous training protocol. The results showed that the participant responded in accordance with stimulus equivalence when using the 5,000 ITI with the STC protocol. A 5-week followup showed maintenance of the trained relations. Experiment 2 replicated partially Experiment 1 with the same participant 7 months later but using only the 5,000 ITI with the two protocols. The results showed that the participant responded in accordance with stimulus equivalence when using the STC protocol with 5,000ms ITI. However, the participant suffered a mini-stroke before a repeated exposure to the conditions. Following the stroke, the participants made more incorrect responses and he did not respond in accordance with stimulus equivalence.

 
12.

Habituation of the Light-Startle Response of Orange Head Cockroaches (Eublaberus posticus)

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHRISTOPHER ALLEN VARNON (Converse College), Ann Adams (Converse College)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract:

This poster describes research investigating the light-startle response (LSR) of orange head cockroaches (Eublaberus posticus). In the first experiment, we explored habituation of the LSR in response to both lights being turn on and lights being turned off, while also investigating the acclimation duration and lighting. Habituation occurred regardless of stimulus type but the response were greater in trials when a light was turned off than when it was turned on. Acclimation duration had little effect, but responses were greater when the acclimation light was off. The remainder of the experiments used lights turning on as stimuli for practical reasons. The second experiment explored the effect of light duration across two days of habituation procedures. Stimulus duration had no effect. Habituation occurred on each day of the procedure, with spontaneous recovery occurring between days. The third experiment investigated how presence of food alters habituation. We found that food inhibits habituation and appears to cause sensitization to the light stimulus. The fourth experiment explored how intertrial interval affected rate of LSR habituation. We found the rate of habituation decreased as intertrial interval increased. We hope our findings help establish the cockroaches as practical subjects for behavior analysis and comparative psychology.

 
13. Using the Blank Comparison Task to Assess Select and Reject Stimulus Controlling Relations in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BOBBIE WOLFF (University of North Carolina - Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract: To perform a simple discrimination task, animals learn either to “select” the correct stimulus (S+) or “reject” the incorrect stimulus (S-). The Blank Comparison Task (BLC) is a procedure allowing for the assessment of select and reject controlling relations in humans and non-humans. The task uses a simple discrimination paradigm that includes an ambiguous stimulus (BLC+/-) that sometimes replaces S+ (in the presence of S-) and sometimes replaces S- (in the presence of S+). Typically, the task utilizes visual stimuli in a simultaneous presentation procedure, but for rodents, odor stimuli were presented. Rats were trained to remove scented lids from sand filled cups in a two-choice, simultaneous presentation procedure. Then they were trained on the BLC Task, using a blocked training procedure that included select (S+ and BLC-) and reject (BLC+ and S-) trial types. All rats attained at least 86% accuracy in sessions with both select and reject type trials. The BLC Task provides insight into exclusion learning and is currently being used in the Odor Span Task (an incrementing non-match-to-sample task) to assess how rats perform this task.
 
14. The Formation of Equivalence Classes Using a Respondent Matching to Sample Procedure
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DIANA M. DELGADO (University of Memphis), Alejandra Rodriguez (Fundación Universitaria Konrad Lorenz), Laura Baylot Casey (University of Memphis)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract: The formation of equivalence classes in the absence of operant contingencies has been demonstrated consistently for the last two decades. In spite of this evidence, its investigation, and much of the controversy around the theoretical implications of its findings have been largely underemphasized in the behavior analytic literature. This may be due to the pervasiveness of the traditional operant interpretation, and to the impracticality produced by the procedural limitations of respondent equivalence procedures. Using a variation of the traditional matching-to-sample procedure this study sought to address two main criticisms of respondent equivalence procedures. The first, is that it requires exposing participants to an extensive number of stimulus-stimulus pairings, and the second, that it involves repeated alternations of training and testing to produce high performances in tests of derived relations. This study evaluates the efficiency of a respondent matching-to-sample arrangement with a reduced number of training trials and added verification probes to confirm the strength of S-S associations. Results show high performances in equivalence tests after exposure to a small number of learning trials, and accurate acquisition of all baseline relations during stimulus-stimulus training using a matching-to-sample arrangement.
 
15. Response Speed as a Function of Number of Meaningful Stimuli in Stimulus Equivalence Class Formation
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LIVE FAY BRAATEN (Oslo Metropolitan University), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Karen M. Lionello-DeNolf (Assumption University)
Abstract: The inclusion of meaningful stimuli among abstract stimuli in matching-to-sample procedures positively affects the probability of responding according to stimulus equivalence. Previous research has shown different response speed to different relations in a stimulus equivalence test. The present analysis looks into how a different number of meaningful stimuli affects response speed to comparison stimuli by comparing three groups trained in matching-to-sample procedures training with none, one, and four numbers of meaningful stimuli in three 5-member classes of stimuli, mixed with abstract stimuli. All groups were taught 12 conditional discriminations in a one-to-many training structure. Thus far, with 23 adult participants, results show that all groups had an increased response speed at the end of the training, though the group with many meaningful stimuli had the highest speed of all groups. Participants trained with all abstract stimuli generally showed a lower response speed on all tested relations than participants in the other two groups. Also, participants trained with few meaningful stimuli most often responded with a higher speed in the test. The response speed of those who formed equivalence classes and those who did not will also be presented.
 
 

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