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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #357
CE Offered: BACB
Basic and Applied Investigations of Resurgence
Monday, May 29, 2023
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom C
Area: EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Kyleigh Montague (University of Florida)
Discussant: Michael P. Kranak (Oakland University)
CE Instructor: Michael P. Kranak, Ph.D.
Abstract: Resurgence is a form of relapse defined as an increase in a previously reinforced target response (e.g., challenging behavior) when conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative response (e.g., communication response) have worsened. Resurgence has been demonstrated across many species and populations in the laboratory and is prevalent in clinically relevant behavior. Recent examinations of resurgence have highlighted the advantages of translating findings from basic research to inform developments of behavioral treatments in clinical settings and, conversely, pulling from observations in applied settings to inform laboratory research. This bidirectional, translational approach deepens our understanding of behavioral processes involved in resurgence while enhancing and refining clinical practice. In this symposium, both basic and applied researchers discuss the impact of various parameters on resurgence (e.g., alternative reinforcement magnitude, target and alternative reinforcement rate) as well as mitigation strategies (e.g., inclusion of a timeout procedure). A quantitative framework of resurgence, Resurgence as Choice in Context, is also evaluated for its fit to data and clinical implications of its use. Dr. Michael Kranak will serve as discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Choice, Relapse, Resurgence, Translational research
Target Audience: The audience should have some knowledge of treatment relapse and its clinical implications, with a basic understanding of resurgence and resurgence arrangements. Previous exposure to literature on laboratory models of resurgence or quantitative modeling of behavioral data would be useful.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe a standard resurgence procedure; (2) describe three variables that influence resurgence; (3) describe a quantitative framework of resurgence.
A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Target and Alternative Reinforcement Rate on Resurgence
(Basic Research)
KYLEIGH MONTAGUE (University of Florida), Carolyn Ritchey (Auburn University), Carla N Martinez-Perez (University of Florida), Sylvia Murphy (University of Florida), Toshikazu Kuroda (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International), Christopher A. Podlesnik (University of Florida)
Abstract: Resurgence is a form of relapse defined as an increase in a previously reinforced target response when conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative response have worsened. The present experiment evaluated the effects of target and alternative reinforcement rate on resurgence in humans recruited through crowdsourcing. Contingent on responding, we arranged combinations of high- and low-rate target and alternative reinforcement in Phase 1 and Phase 2, respectively, across four groups (i.e., high-high, high-low, low-high, and low-low). When testing for resurgence by extinguishing alternative reinforcement in Phase 3, we observed resurgence in all groups except the high-low group. A quantitative model of resurgence, Resurgence as Choice in Context (RaC2), provided a poor fit to the data (r2 = .52). The model tended to underpredict target responding and overpredict alternative responding in Phase 3. Our findings support others showing little effect of training reinforcement rates and that lower alternative reinforcement rates are less likely to produce resurgence than higher rates. Finally, further development of RaC2 is needed to better predict resurgence under these conditions.
Alternative-Reinforcer Magnitude Effects on Resurgence Across Successive Relapse Tests in Mice
(Basic Research)
ANDREW R. CRAIG (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Beatriz Elena Arroyo Antunez (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Kate Elizabeth Derrenbacker (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Charlene Nicole Agnew (Proud Moments ABA), William Sullivan (Golisano Children's Hospital & Center for Special Needs; SUNY Upstate Medical University), David Mathews (SUNY Upstate Medical University), Abbie Cooper (West Virginia University), Henry S. Roane (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
Abstract: Alternative-reinforcement based treatments are common strategies for reducing maladaptive behavior in humans. When conditions of alternative reinforcement are made worse in some way, however, behavior that was targeted for elimination may relapse or resurge. Using rat subjects, we previously showed that high-magnitude alternative reinforcers produce faster elimination of the target behavior but more resurgence once removed than do low-magnitude alternative reinforcers. In this experiment, we systematically replicated our procedures to assess cross-species generality of these effects to mouse subjects. Further, we evaluated changes in resurgence across successive determinations by cycling between periods during which alternative reinforcement was present and those during which it was absent. Mice that experienced high-magnitude alternative reinforcers demonstrated faster elimination of the target behavior and more resurgence when alternative reinforcement was suspended than those that experienced low-magnitude alternative reinforcers. Moreover, although the overall magnitude of resurgence decreased across successive tests, between-group differences in resurgence remained. Thus, alternative-reinforcer magnitude affects the behavior of mice similarly to the way that it affects the behavior of rats, and these effects appear to be robust across successive exposures to nonreinforcement.
Weakening Target Response Through Timeout: Effects on Resurgence
(Basic Research)
L. REBECA MATEOS MORFIN (Universidad de Guadalajara), Carlos Javier Flores Aguirre (Universidad de Guadalajara), Cinthia Hernandez (Universidad de Guadalajara (CEIC)), Kenneth D. Madrigal (Universidad de Sonora)
Abstract: Resurgence after weaking target response through a 5- or 30-s time out (TO) contingency was assessed. Rats were exposed to a two-component multiple schedule. On both components, target response was reinforced according to a VI30s. Once responding was established, alternative responding was reinforced on both components; concurrently target responding was placed on extinction on one component, while between groups, a 5- or 30-s TO was arranged for the second component. Once alternative responding was placed on extinction, resurgence was observed in both components. For all rats, greater resurgence was observed after extinction than either TO contingency; however, the length of TO showed no differences between groups. Results are discussed in terms of procedures that could allow resurgence to be mitigated
Resurgence of Destructive Behavior Following Reductions in Alternative Reinforcement: A Prospective Analysis
(Applied Research)
CASEY IRWIN HELVEY (Rutgers University), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Brain Health Institute; Children’s Specialized Hospital—Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education, and Services (CSH–RUCARES); Department of Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University), Wayne W. Fisher (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Daniel R. Mitteer (Rutgers University (RUCARES))
Abstract: Resurgence is an increase in responding following a worsening of reinforcement conditions. Resurgence as Choice (RaC), a quantitative model of resurgence, suggests that resurgence increases as an exponential function of the size of downshifts in alternative reinforcement. Thus, RaC predicts greater resurgence with larger decreases in alternative reinforcement. Consistent with RaC, recent retrospective analyses of clinical data have shown that resurgence of destructive behavior increases as alternative reinforcement decreases, replicating findings from the basic animal laboratory. We conducted a prospective analysis of resurgence of destructive behavior following a fixed progression of schedule thinning steps (Study 1) and a pseudo-random order of schedule thinning steps counterbalanced across participants (Study 2). In both studies, resurgence was evaluated in the context of using multiple schedules during functional communication training (FCT) with scheduled probes for downshifts in alternative reinforcement. A dense FCT phase was conducted between schedule thinning probes. The results and implications of using RaC to inform clinical decision-making during treatment will be discussed.



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