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Association for Behavior Analysis International

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44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Program by B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Events: Sunday, May 27, 2018


B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #217
Psychedelics: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Potential
Sunday, May 27, 2018
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: BPN
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair: Matthew W. Johnson (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
ROBIN CARHART-HARRIS (Imperial College London)
Robin Heads the Psychedelic Research Group within the Centre for Psychiatry at Imperial College London, where he has designed a number of functional brain imaging studies with psilocybin (magic mushrooms), LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and DMT (ayahuasca), plus a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment resistant depression. He has over 50 published papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals; two of which were ranked in the top 100 most impactful academic articles of 2016. Robin's research has featured in major national and international media and he has given a popular TEDx talk.
Abstract: This presentation will introduce the latest thinking on the mechanisms of action of psychedelic compounds such as LSD and psilocybin. Dr. Carhart-Harris will present the results of his functional brain imaging work with compounds such as psilocybin, LSD, and DMT, and discuss what these findings tell us about how these drugs alter brain function to alter consciousness. He will also presenthis latest findings on psilocybin with psychological support for treatment resistant depression, including brain imaging findings suggesting how the treatment is working.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the basic pharmacology of psychedelic compounds; (2) discuss current thinking on the latest brain imaging results on psychedelics; (3) discuss the latest work on therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #242
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Capture and Control: Promoting and Preventing Distraction by Reward-Related Stimuli
Sunday, May 27, 2018
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: EAB
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Kyonka, Ph.D.
Chair: Elizabeth Kyonka (University of New England)
MIKE LE PELLEY (University of New South Wales Sydney)
Mike Le Pelley is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at UNSW Sydney (Australia). He completed a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, studying the role of associative learning processes in human behavior. After his Ph.D., Mike held the Sir Alan Wilson Fellowship at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, followed by a move to a lectureship at Cardiff University, In 2011 he was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship and moved to the University of New South Wales (as it was then known) in Sydney, Australia. Since 2015 he has been working as a faculty member at UNSW Sydney (as it is now known), and since 2017 he has also been a Mercator Fellow at the Philipps University of Marburg, Germany. Most of Mike's research has a component of associative learning in it; for example recent projects have investigated the influence of reward learning on attention (using behavioral studies, eye-tracking, and EEG), the contribution of learning and prediction processes to schizophrenia, and how basic learning mechanisms can explain examples of so-called �metacognitive� behavior in nonhuman animals.
Abstract: Selection is central in everything we do, from the highest-level decisions (which candidate should I vote for?) to the lowest (where should I move my eyes next?). So what determines when a stimulus will be selected for action, versus being ignored? Research on attentional selection has shown that stimuli with distinctive physical features (color, brightness, loudness, etc.) can exert control over our behavior even when this conflicts with the goal of our current task; for example, when driving we might be distracted by a loud noise from the back seat. Recent work has gone further by demonstrating that distraction is not purely a function of the physical salience of stimuli: it is also influenced by prior learning about association with reward. I will review evidence for this value-modulated attentional capture effect from behavioral studies, eye-tracking, and EEG, showing that rewards exert a rapid and pervasive influence on attentional selection. This effect is somewhat analogous to demonstrations of sign-tracking in nonhuman animals, and (much as for sign-tracking) preliminary evidence indicates it might be related to development of addictive behaviors. Finally, I will describe evidence suggesting that counterproductive effects of reward on attention can be reduced, if not overcome, via instrumental conditioning.
Target Audience: Behavior analysts interested in the psychology of learning and attention, and in psychological mechanisms of addiction.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe how various experimental techniques (behavioral studies, eye-tracking, and electroencephalography) have been used to study the influence of reward learning on attentional behavior; (2) describe how the effect of rewards on behavior might reflect the interaction of Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning processes; and (3) describe evidence showing that the relationship between rewards and attention might relate to the occurrence of addictive behaviors.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #270
A Complex Adaptive Systems View of Language and Second Language Development
Sunday, May 27, 2018
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: VRB
CE Instructor: Judah B. Axe, Ph.D.
Chair: Judah B. Axe (Simmons College)
DIANE LARSEN-FREEMAN (University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania)
Diane Larsen-Freeman (Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Michigan) is a Professor Emerita in Linguistics and Education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Professor Emerita at the Graduate SIT Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. She is currently a Visiting Senior Fellow in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her books relevant to the B.F. Skinner lecture are Language as a Complex Adaptive System (co-edited with Nick Ellis, Wiley-Blackwell) and Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics (co-authored with Lynne Cameron, Oxford University Press). The latter won the Kenneth W. Mildenberger book prize, awarded by the Modern Language Association.
Abstract: Language is a complex adaptive system (CAS). Its evolution, development in learners, and use are historically contingent and emergent. Its patterns emerge from social interaction in an environment, which both structures and is structured by iterative language use. Frequently-occurring patterns provide the system some stability; however, change is immanent in the system, brought about by its users co-adapting to an ever-changing environment. It is this co-adaptation that is the source of creativity and innovation in meaning making in a pragmatically appropriate manner. This view of language as a CAS represents a challenge to more traditional views of second language development. It suggests that there is neither linguistic innateness nor an endpoint to the development, certainly not one that is isomorphic with native speaker use. It at least partly explains why there is ubiquitous variability in the process and why given the nature of the process the learner's linguistic system is free to develop along alternative trajectories. These claims will be supported with both corpus and longitudinal developmental data.
Target Audience: Researchers and practitioners interested in theories of language and language development.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) describe some of the fundamental characteristics of language as a complex adaptive system; (2) compare these characteristics with those of the rational behaviorism of B.F. Skinner; (3) assess the value of a view of language as a complex system for practitioners
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #293
New Perspectives on Change in Sexuality Over the Life Course
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
CE Instructor: Jonathan J. Tarbox, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan J. Tarbox (University of Southern California; FirstSteps for Kids)
LISA DIAMOND (University of Utah)
Lisa M. Diamond is Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She studies the expression of sexual attractions and sexual identity over the life course, and particularly the phenomenon of sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience shifts in their pattern of same-sex and other-sex attractions over time. Her 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity, published by Harvard University Press, describes the changes and transformations that she has observed in the sexual attractions, behaviors, and identities of a sample of lesbian, bisexual, and “unlabeled” women that she has been following since 1995. Sexual Fluidity has been awarded the Distinguished Book Award from the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Study of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered Issues. Dr. Diamond is co-editor of the APA Handbook of Sexuality and Psychology and is a fellow of two divisions of the APA. Dr. Diamond has published over 100 articles and book chapters, and has received awards for her work from the American Psychological Association, the American Association of University Women, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Abstract: This presentation will provide an overview of the phenomenon of sexual fluidity, which describes the capacity for individuals to experience change in their same-sex and other-sex attractions over time, often as a result of entering and exiting specific relationships, or undergoing changes in their situational contexts. Sexual fluidity presents important challenges to previous views of sexual orientation and its expression over the life course, and in this presentation I will present data from my 20-year longitudinal study of sexual fluidity which elucidates how sexual fluidity is experienced by different individuals, and the challenges it presents for individuals at different stages of the life course. I will also discuss the implications of sexual fluidity for some of the mental health issues facing LGBTQ individuals (family relationships, identity development, minority stress, stigma, parenting, relationships, spirituality) and will discuss different approaches to these challenges.
Target Audience: Any researchers and practitioners working on issues of gender and sexuality.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define sexual fluidity; (2) describe how it manifests in men and women, based on contemporary research; (3) apply research on sexual fluidity to their own practice by analyzing the potential implications of sexual fluidity for the clinical issues faced by LGBTQ individuals; (4) plan how to address these issues in their own work.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #312
Discipline Without Punishment
Sunday, May 27, 2018
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom G
Area: OBM
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Douglas A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair: Douglas A. Johnson (Western Michigan University)
DICK GROTE (Grote Consulting Corporation)
Dick Grote is President of Grote Consulting Corporation in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of the book, Discipline Without Punishment. Now in its second edition, Discipline Without Punishment has become a management classic. Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights to Discipline Without Punishment and produced the award-winning video series "Respect and Responsibility" with Dick as on-camera host. His other books include The Complete Guide to Performance Appraisal and The Performance Appraisal Question and Answer Book, both published by the American Management Association. Forced Ranking: Making Performance Management Work, was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2005. His most recent book, How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals, was also published by the Harvard Business Review Press in 2011. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, including Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, and Thai. In 2013, the Harvard Business School made a series of videos of Dick Grote providing his observations and counsel on performance management for Harvard's executive education programs. In 2016 the Harvard Business Review produced and published a series of Dick Grote's "Tools" to help managers on the subjects of goal-setting and performance appraisal. For five years, he was a regular commentator on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" program. For twenty years Dick Grote was adjunct professor of management at the University of Dallas Graduate School. His articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan and the Wall Street Journal.
Abstract: An obscene message written on a potato chip triggered the development of a radically different approach to dealing with disciplinary problems. Discipline Without Punishment is the innovative performance management system that replaces traditional disciplinary policies and procedures with a positive, responsibility-focused approach. Like conventional approaches, the Discipline Without Punishment procedure provides a progressive series of steps to handle the everyday problems of absenteeism, bad attitudes and poor performance that arise in all organizations. But Discipline Without Punishment gets rid of traditional disciplinary responses—like warnings, reprimands, and unpaid disciplinary suspensions—that focus on punishment. Instead, the DWP system requires employees to take personal responsibility for their own behavior and to make real decisions about their performance and continued employment. Unique to Discipline Without Punishment is the final step before termination: the Decision Making Leave. The employee is suspended from work for one day. He receives full pay for his time away. But this is no extra vacation day. On "Decision Day" the employee must make a final decision: either to solve the problem completely, or to quit and find greener employment pastures elsewhere. Dick Grote created Discipline Without Punishment. Through his books and consultations he has helped some of the largest organizations around the world eliminate punishment as a disciplinary tool and replace it with a system that demands personal responsibility. Dick will explain how he created the approach and why it has been successful for over 40 years.
Target Audience: The target audience is any individual who is responsible for managing the performance of other people; any individual who is called upon to provide counsel and advice about how to manage problem employees and solve performance issues; any individual who is interested in learning about the mechanics involved in creating and implementing a major management system that changes organizational culture.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the creation, mechanics, and vital elements of the Discipline Without Punishment performance management system; (2) understand the rationale, value and increased effectiveness of using an approach based on personal responsibility to solve common organizational “people problems” rather than using an approach based on punishing misbehavior; (3) understand the psychological and emotional mechanisms that cause problem employees to decide to change their behavior and perform at a fully acceptable level.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #326
Zoo Animal Welfare: Implications for the World’s Most Iconic Species
Sunday, May 27, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom B
Area: AAB
CE Instructor: Susan D. Kapla, Ph.D.
Chair: Valeri Farmer-Dougan (Illinois State University)
GREG VICINO (San Diego Zoo Global)
Greg has spent the past 25 years straddling the line between animal care, behavioral research, conservation, and animal welfare. A unique set of circumstances has positioned him to apply this experience to a myriad of species in virtually every context. After studying Biological Anthropology at UCDavis, Greg went on to work for the University, first as an animal care specialist, and then as a Research Associate. He worked on projects ranging from vocal and social development, to geriatric cognition and aggression. His laboratory experience allowed him to ease back into animal management, applying science to the art of animal husbandry. He has consulted extensively on non-human primate socialization and group formation as well as behavior based enrichment programs and welfare monitoring. When he returned to his home town in 2007 to begin working for the San Diego Zoo he was invited to develop a more modern enrichment program, and ultimately form a comprehensive animal welfare program. He has focused on promoting positive indicators of welfare, as well as mitigating negative indicators all within the framework of a species natural behavioral repertoire. By emphasizing the frequency and diversity of behavior, he and his team have worked on developing integrated management strategies that exploit the adaptive relevance of behavior and making behavior meaningful for managed populations. This strategy is designed to be applicable to all species both captive and wild and he has extensive experience in the Middle East and East Africa applying these concepts to in-situ conservation programs and rehab/re-release sites. Greg has continued to work towards his institutes' mission of ending extinction, and has staunchly stood by the idea that all animals should be given an opportunity to thrive.
Abstract: Modern zoos continue to transform both their mission and their execution as they reach the end of a decade’s long transition from animal attractions to sincere conservation entities. A heightened awareness of the science of animal welfare, the value of measuring behavioral outcomes, and the realization that zoos represent the last hope for many species has thrust us into a paradigm driven by natural history. The aim of this lecture is to highlight the modern approach to zoo animal welfare and the prevalence of behavioral science and its application to effective conservation programs. By using examples of how modern science has helped the management and conservation of species like the African elephant, I will review some of applications of zoo-based findings on in-situ conservation programs. I will cover some of the metrics used to measure animal welfare in zoos, as well as how the frequency and diversity of behavior can be used as a functional indicator of animal welfare. Finally, I will outline some of the strategies used to turn caretakers into stakeholders, primarily in cultures where animal husbandry and welfare are viewed in contrasting terms.
Target Audience: Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand zoo animal welfare; (2) understand the connection between animal welfare and wildlife conservation; (3) describe the current tools in use at modern zoos related to animal welfare.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #335
Matter, Movement, and Mind: The Order Is Important
Sunday, May 27, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Grand Ballroom 7-9
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Marcus Jackson Marr, Ph.D.
Chair: Marcus Jackson Marr (Georgia Tech)
J. A. SCOTT KELSO (Florida Atlantic University; Ulster University)
For most of his scientific career Scott Kelso has been trying to understand how human beings (and human brains)—individually and together—coordinate their behavior on multiple levels, from cells to cognition to (most recently) social settings (see Since the late 1970's his approach has been grounded in the concepts, methods and tools of self-organizing dynamical systems tailored to the activities of animate, living things (moving, perceiving, learning, remembering, developing, etc.), a theoretical and empirical framework that has come to be called Coordination Dynamics. From 1978 to 1985 Kelso was Senior Research Scientist at Yale University’s Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Connecticut. Since then, Kelso has held the Glenwood and Martha Creech Eminent Scholar Chair in Science at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida where he founded The Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences. Kelso is also Emeritus Professor of Computational Neuroscience at Ulster University in his home town of Derry, in the north of Ireland. Kelso and colleagues' research has been published in Science and Nature as well as other prominent journals in the fields of neuroscience, physics, biology and psychology. His books include Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior (MIT Press, 1995), Coordination Dynamics (Springer, 2004) and The Complementary Nature (with D.A. Engstrøm) published by MIT Press in 2006. Kelso is a Fellow of APA, APS, SEP and AAAS and has received a number of honors and awards for his work, including the MERIT, Senior Scientist and Director’s Innovations Awards from the U.S. National Institute of Health. In 2007 he was named Pierre de Fermat Laureate and in 2011 he was the recipient of the Bernstein Prize. He was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2016. Trained in a specifically interdisciplinary setting, Kelso’s PhD students and Postdocs have gone on to careers in some of the top academic and research institutions in the world, a fact that he is especially proud of.
Abstract: This lecture will explain, by means of a theory of coordination, the relationship between matter, movement and mind. There will be a little physics (self-organization), a little biology (synergy selection), a little math (mostly nonlinear), a little theory (coordination dynamics) and a little experimentation (from fingers and babies and brains to ballet dancing and beyond)—all presented at the level of the proverbial educated layperson. The story is one of emergence, how spontaneous processes give rise to properties not usually ascribed to ordinary matter, but rather to living things, such as agency and goal-directedness. Paradoxical though it may seem, the self–the “I”– emerges from self-organization which, by definition, means the system organizes itself. In these open, complex systems, there is no organizer doing the organizing. The path, made by walking--as Machado would have it--is from nonequilibrium phase transitions in matter and movement (including motor development and learning) to the “eureka effect” of experiencing oneself as an agent for the first time. Who cares? Well, if you have ever wondered how mind gets into matter or how matter produces mind, please join me: like a choreographed script, the order of matter, movement and mind might be important. Phase transitions offer a transcendental mechanism, “the way in” to their relationship. Via symmetry breaking, “the way out” is the modern, metastable mind.
Target Audience: Everyone who is interested in a novel, or different approach to the age-old mind-matter relation and the possibilities it creates.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the concepts, methods, and tools of the science of coordination (informationally coupled dynamical systems, aka coordination dynamics) and how it closes the loop (‘reciprocal causality’) between spontaneous, self-organizing processes and mental constructs such as intentionality, purpose and will.
B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #346
Brief Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety and Depression: Developing Efficient Interventions for Pediatric Care
Sunday, May 27, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Coronado Ballroom AB
Area: CBM
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Amy Murrell, Ph.D.
Chair: Amy Murrell (University of North Texas)
V. ROBIN WEERSING (San Diego State University)
Dr. Weersing is the director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety and Mood Program (ChAAMP) at San Diego State University (SDSU) and a professor in the joint doctoral program in clinical psychology at SDSU and UC San Diego. Her research centers on the development of efficient interventions for anxiety, depression, and somatic distress in youth. Dr. Weersing’s research group has probed the effectiveness of usual community care for internalizing youth, sought to understand the effects of evidence-based interventions for these conditions when tested active healthcare practice, and developed novel treatments for internalizing youths focusing on core, behavioral transdiagnostic mechanisms of action that may be robust to dissemination. In addition to her empirical and theoretical papers in these areas, Dr. Weersing is an author of five psychosocial treatment and prevention manuals for youth internalizing disorders, and she has served as an expert consultant on practice guidelines for the screening and treatment of adolescent depression in primary care. Her program of work has been acknowledged with honors and awards from the Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research, and William T. Grant Foundation and research support from the National Institutes of Health.
Abstract: Depression and anxiety in youth are prevalent and impairing conditions, with a high degree of current and lifetime comorbidity. Targeting the internalizing disorders as a unified problem area is in line with calls for new approaches to conceptualizing comorbidity and a focus on transdiagnostic processes. This lecture details a 15 year program of work to develop an efficient transdiagnostic brief behavioral therapy (BBT) for internalizing problems in youth focusing on the core behavioral process of avoidance of negative affect and threatening situations. Development of the initial BBT program is described, including illustrative cases. As a capstone, results are presented of a recent major randomized controlled trial designed to test the effects of BBT compared to assisted referral to specialty mental health care (ARC) in a large sample (N=185) of children and adolescents (age 8-16) presenting with anxiety and/or depression in pediatric primary care. Overall, BBT youth had significantly higher rates of clinical response than those in ARC (56.8% versus 28.2%), and these superior effects were replicated for anxiety-specific measures and functioning outcomes. Results were particularly strong for Latino youth suggesting BBT may help reduce disparities in care outcomes. Implications for the development and dissemination of behavioral treatments are discussed.
Target Audience: mental health professionals, intervention developers, intervention researchers, behavioral health consultants, primary care / pediatric care providers
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the shared mechanisms underlying the comorbidity of anxiety and depression; (2) evaluate the value of a brief behavioral therapy designed to impact core behavioral processes of anxiety and depression; (3) assess critical factors involved in fitting interventions to the constraints of care settings and samples, with a focus on primary care.



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