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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48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

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Poster Session #280
EAB Sunday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Sunday, May 29, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
6. Appetitive latent inhibition: effect of stimulus pre-exposure on conditioned reinforcement in rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Victor Bastos Ventura (Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)), FABIO LEYSER GONCALVES (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Latent inhibition (LI) is an experimental model used to investigate dysfunctional selective attention, one positive symptom of schizophrenia. It is widely used to evaluate the effect of pre-exposure on aversive conditioning. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of latent inhibition on conditioned reinforcement. Nine male Wistar rats were submitted to a procedure divided in four phases. On baseline, the response in one of two levers turned off two stimulus lights (LO), the other bar produced a TONE. On pre-exposure, five subjects were pre-exposed to LO (PE group) and the other four were not pre-exposed (NPE group). In the conditioning phase, LO was paired to a food pellet ona a random interval schedule. The testing procedure was the same as in baseline. For 3 subjects of the NPE group, performance on the test indicates LO as conditioned reinforcer. On the other hand, for the PE group, only one subject had a clear pattern consistent with conditioned reinforcement. This initial analysIs indicates that conditioning of LO as reinforcer was affected by pre-exposure in the PE group when compared to NPE group. Other subjects will be run in order to evaluate the reliability of the results.
 
8. Effects of Training Problem Solving on the Demonstration of Equivalence Relations
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SARAH FRAMPTON (Simmons University; May Institute, Inc. ), Phoebe Carlisle (May Institute, Inc; Endicott College), Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Graphic organizers (GO) help students structure their notes to enhance performance on educational tasks. Use of a GO may be a useful in the context of training and testing for equivalence. We sought to answer: (a) What are the effects of a training package consisting of MTS baseline relation training and GO construction on equivalence yields? and (b) What are the effects of MTS baseline training alone with a second set of stimuli? A non-concurrent multiple probe design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of the treatment package with seven adults. During linear training, participants were provided with GOs and instructed to fill in and connect any missing abstract sample and comparison stimuli. GOs were progressively faded to only a blank page as these were available in pre and posttests. Five of seven participants passed the posttest on the first attempt; the remaining participants passed when provided access to their GO. All participants voluntarily constructed GOs with a second set of stimuli. Three participants completed training with a second set and passed the posttest. Though preliminary, these results suggest that teaching participants to write/draw relations among stimuli may strengthen the effects of MTS training on equivalence yields.
 
10. Effects of Alternative Response Availability During Baseline
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
AMANDA MAE MORRIS (University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Tara A. Fahmie (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Sean Smith (University of Florida), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Approximately 40% of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or developmental delay will engage in destructive behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injury; Harris, 1993). Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior plus extinction is an effective function-based treatment to suppress destructive behavior (Pritchard et al., 2014). Despite initial suppression, treatment relapse can occur. Renewal is a form of treatment relapse observed when a change in context occurs and causes previously suppressed target behaviors to reemerge. Variables contributing to renewal include reinforcement rates in baseline (Berry et al., 2014; Podlesnik & Shahan, 2009) and target response rates in baseline (Bouton et al., 2011; Podlesnik & Shahan, 2009; Podlesnik et al., 2017). Kimball et al. (2020) evaluated the presence of an alternative response during baseline using a between-subject design. Researchers observed higher rates of renewal when the alternative response was available during baseline sessions. This poster will display an ongoing study that extends the findings of Kimball et al. by using a within-subjects design. Using object permanence boxes in a human operant preparation, we evaluated the effects of alternative response availability during baseline sessions. Currently, one participant, diagnosed with autism, has completed the study. The current dataset shows minimal renewal occurring upon return to baseline.
 
12. Conjugate Reinforcement of Muscle Contractions Using Surface Electromyography
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW NGUYEN (University of North Texas), Robby Goodhue (University of North Texas), Brennan Patrick Armshaw (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Electromyography is an evaluative technique that measures electrical activity generated by the recruitment of motor units during contractions of skeletal muscles. A direct relationship between measured amplitude and the strength of the response provides an opportunity to create contingencies of reinforcement based on increasing amplitudes of the measured signal as a way to strengthen the muscle. This study explored the use of conjugate schedules of reinforcement to increase the intensity of the contraction with healthy volunteers. A surface electromyograph (FlexDotTM) was attached on the surface above the vastus medialis oblique (VMO). Contingencies of reinforcement were created via custom-written software that measured the electrical activity and provided real-time feedback based on the amplitude of the signal. Feedback was provided as a compound comprising an auditory stimulus and a dynamic bar wherein the amount of “fill” was based on the amplitude of a measured contraction. The primary independent variable (IV) was the amount of unfilled in the bar. The data showed that response intensity increased across the study regardless of the programmed IV value. These data suggest that the ‘negative space’ or the space left unfilled in the visual feedback bar was not a functional consequence for increasing muscle contractions.
 
14. Human-Operant Evaluation of Renewal Following Differential Reinforcement of Asymmetrical Choice Options
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KACEY RENEE FINCH (West Virginia University), Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: Renewal is relapse that occurs following context changes. A standard renewal arrangement typically involves an extinction component for the target response during Phase 2. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate ABA renewal following differential reinforcement of alternative behavior with multiple alternative responses. A secondary purpose is to assess renewal in the absence of extinction by varying the magnitude of reinforcement across response options. Participants earned points by responding on a computer task that included three response circles (Target, Alt 1, and Alt 2) that moved randomly across the screen. Context was represented by the background color of the screen. In Phase 1, only the target response was reinforced in Context A. In Phase 2, the target response was reinforced with one point delivery, Alt 1 was reinforced with 3 points, and Alt 2 was reinforced with 5 points in Context B. In Phase 3, we tested for ABA renewal by maintaining the same contingencies in Phase 2 and returning to Context A. Renewal occurred for all three participants, evidenced by an increase in the target response at the beginning of Phase 3 relative to the end of Phase 2. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.
 
16. Choice and delay of reinforcement in rats: a replication of Chung and Herrnstein’s experiment
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RAUL AVILA (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Anthony Tapia (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Discussant: Donald A. Hantula (Temple University)
Abstract: A replication with nine food-deprived rats of the classical experiment by Chung and Herrnstein (1967) was attempted. The subjects were exposed to a Random Interval 60 s fixed time t s Random Interval 60 s fixed time t s concurrent-chained schedule of food reinforcement. The first fixed-time schedule, the standard option, was set in 0, 8 and 16 s in a between subject´s design. The second fixed time schedule, the experimental option was varied, in consecutive conditions, from 0 to 6, 8, 16, 20 and 24 s according to a within subject’s design. Three rats each were exposed to each standard FT option and each experimental option was in effect at least during 20 sessions of one hour or 50 reinforcer deliveries, whatever occurred first. It was found that lengthening the delay of reinforcement for the experimental option affected the rate of responding on both, the standard and the experimental options. Specifically, as reported by Chung and Herrnstein, as the delay of reinforcement was lengthened, the response rate decreased and increased in the experimental and the standard options, respectively. Thus, as predicted by the matching law, the relative response rate matched the relative delay of reinforcement with rats as subjects.
 
Diversity submission 18. Performance of indigenous students in reading tasks in English as a foreign language: a first approach
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ANDREA MERCADO RODRÍGUEZ (University of Guadalajara), Fabiola Mercado Rodríguez (University of Guadalajara), Catalina Rodriguez Perez (University of Guadalajara), Maria Elena Elena Rodriguez Perez (University of Guadalajara)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This research evaluated the reading comprehension of English as a foreign language of indigenous students enrolled in a high school education program at a public university in Jalisco, Mexico. Eighteen students, 10 men and 8 women, aged 16-18 years with different domains of the Spanish language participated. His mother tongue is Huichol and no data was obtained on his ability to read in the mother tongue. They were exposed to two reading tasks in order to identify significant variables that could explain their reading performance. In the first task, they had to deduce the meaning of words and phrases in a children's story. In the second task, they were presented with an advertisement and they had to answer questions regarding the characteristics and uses of the advertised product. Low performances were found in both tasks given the specific experimental conditions to which they were exposed: instructions in Spanish, face-to-face interaction with a non-indigenous experimenter, presentation of the advertisement in digital format, use of a non-indigenous children's story. This first approach opens up future research questions where the role of these variables in reading performance in Spanish as a foreign language is evaluated.
 
20. Non-linguistic Stimulus Substitution of Mandarin
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHANGZHI WU (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Investigations of function substitution commonly used words. Words have both linguistic (meaning) and non-linguistic (auditory and visual) functions. Either or both functions can be actualized when people interact with words. Previous studies have demonstrated how non- meaningful syllables can acquire linguistic functions substituionally through pairing of meaningful words with non-meaningful syllables (Clayton & Hayes, 2007). Studies of non- linguistic perceptual substitution are much less common. Munoz-Blanco & Hayes (2016) demonstrated the auditory stimulus substitution could be actualized in English by pairing English letters with words which are homophones to numbers. Mandarin is formally different from English because written Mandarin does not offer any auditory cues. This difference in English and Mandarin potentially influence the auditory stimulus substitution. The first experiment demonstrated the auditory stimulus substitution in Mandarin. Subsequent research will focus on factors that influence the actualization of stimulus substitution.
 
22. Temporal Discounting in Different Teaching Scenarios: Effects on Commitment to Continue Studying.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FABIO HENRIQUE BAIA (Universidade de Rio Verde), Alberto Barella (Universidade de Rio Verde ), Germano Lima (Universidade de Rio Verde ), Emanuela Silva (Universidade de Rio Verde ), Nelson da Cunha (Universidade de Rio Verde)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: At the beginning of 2020, after 1 year of the COVID-19 pandemic, University Administrators needed to decide how to return to school. Insecurity about the duration of the pandemic and the fear that students would drop out of studies affected the decision-making of Administrators about which teaching strategy to adopt: whether to return face-to-face or distance learning. We investigated the degree of commitment to continue studying in 1027 Brazilian university students. Participants answered an online questionnaire in which four scenarios were presented: (i) 100% face-to-face learning; (ii) hybrid system with 50% of students in class and 50% synchronous distance learning; (iii) 100% synchronous distance learning and (iv) asynchronous distance learning. In addition, we present 8 durations of the pandemic: 1, 7, 14, 30, 60, 120, 180 and 365 days. The results indicate that students reported a greater degree of commitment to continue studying in the 100% face-to-face return scenario (significance p. <0.007), followed by the hybrid system scenario. In addition, in all scenarios, the longer the duration of the pandemic, the lower the commitment to continue studying. We also conduct an ANOVA statistical analysis of gender, age, area of study. Neither shows significance.
 
24. Procedures for Facilitating Acquisition of an Incrementing Matching-To-Sample Task in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SPENCER BRUCE (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sophie Lorraine Pinneke (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Elijah Richardson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Cassondra Giarrusso (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington ), Hawken V. Hass (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Incrementing non-match-to-sample (NMTS) procedures have been used in the odor span task and in operant chambers equipped with olfactometers in rodents as a method to test complex stimulus control and remembering. In the incrementing NMTS procedure, responses to session-novel stimuli are reinforced while responses to session-familiar stimuli have no programmed consequences. While rodents have displayed rapid acquisition of incrementing NMTS, they have struggled to learn incrementing match-to-sample (MTS) despite rodent’s ability to learn simultaneous MTS and NMTS at similar rates. The present study aimed to develop procedures for facilitating the acquisition of a matching incrementing task in an operant chamber equipped with an olfactometer. Training on a fading procedure using one, two and three session-familiar stimuli for all positive trials in a given session demonstrated acquisition of incrementing matching for two of the five subjects. Further research is needed to improve acquisition as this procedure has potential value in research on behavioral pharmacology and remembering.
 
26. Teaching Health Related Concepts to Adults with a Foreign Background: Application of Stimulus Equivalence Technology
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
TORUNN LIAN (OsloMet), Oana Pintilie (Oslo Metropolitan University), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The present study applied stimulus equivalence technology in teaching Norwegian health concepts to eight adults with a foreign background. The stimulus set was based on the curriculum in a health assistant course and was designed to form four potential four-member classes. Four participants experienced a stimulus set with Norwegian text stimuli only and four experienced a stimulus set with some text stimuli in their respective, native language. Baseline training was arranged as a linear series training structure and baseline relations were presented in a serialized fashion. All baseline relations were established to criterion before test for equivalence class formation. The results showed that seven participants formed equivalence classes and as such demonstrated simple understanding of health concepts they had previously struggled to learn. The results add to a growing evidence base suggesting that procedures used in laboratory studies on stimulus equivalence can also be effective in applied settings. With regards to presenting some stimuli in the participants native languages versus presenting Norwegian text stimuli only, the results are inconclusive.
 
28. Functional Equivalence in Rats I: Class Formation and Expansion
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ELIJAH RICHARDSON (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Kyndra Lawson (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Cassondra Giarrusso (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Madeleine Mason (University of North Carolina - Wilmington ), Hawken V. Hass (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Spencer Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Sophie Lorraine Pinneke (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: This study was conducted as part of the ongoing effort to develop a rodent model of equivalence relations. Rats were tested for evidence of functional equivalence and class expansion using olfactory stimuli. First, researchers tested whether rats could show evidence of transfer of function. Twelve olfactory stimuli were assigned to two arbitrary sets of six and rats were trained on a go no-go task to respond to members of only one set at a time. Reinforcement contingences for each set were reversed following accurate responding. After many repeated reversals, probe sessions revealed that following a contingency reversal, rats responded at above chance accuracy to session-novel stimuli, which demonstrated transfer of function across functional classes in rodents. Next, researchers tested whether rats could show evidence of class expansion. Two new scents were trained alongside one member of each of the original sets in the same procedure as the original twelve stimuli. Following repeated reversals, probe sessions tested whether a function trained in original set members not trained alongside the new scents would transfer to the new scents. Preliminary results were more consistent with rapid acquisition than transfer of function. We are continuing to search for evidence of class expansion in rodents.
 
30. Analysis of the conditional relationships that emerge in the teaching-learning process
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana), Valelria Magaña López (Universidad Veracruzana), Minerva Perez Juarez (University of Veracruz, Mexico), Dinorah Arely Escudero (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyze the conditional relationships that emerge in the teaching-learning process between preschool children and teachers. Six preschoolers of both sexes, with an average age of four years, and two teachers participated in the study; the participants were divided into two groups, one experimental and the other control. The experimental design was structured with a Baseline Phase, an Intervention Phase, and a Follow-up Phase. In the Phases of the Study, the emergent contingent relationships between students/students, students/teacher were observed and recorded; the initial and final competency tests evaluated the expected learning based on the level of functional aptitude; in the Intervention Phase, a Teaching-Learning Unit (UEA) was applied designed to promote interindividual relationships that would facilitate the acquisition of the expected disciplinary learning. The Control Group Students were not exposed to UEA. The results indicate that the circumstantial dispositional factors generated by the Teaching-Learning Unit made possible the emergence of conditional relationships between students and teachers that facilitated the acquisition of the expected learning in the five levels of the taxonomy of functions. The educational process from a psychological dimension can contribute to the emergence of interdependent relationships that facilitate disciplinary and life competencies.
 
 

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