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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #143
CE Offered: BACB
Stimulus Control and Older Adults: Basic and Applied Research on the Impact of Stimuli
Sunday, May 24, 2015
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: DEV/EAB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Dawn Seefeldt (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Paige Raetz (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
CE Instructor: Jonathan C. Baker, Ph.D.
Abstract: Researchers have shown that as individuals age, stimulus control in both operant and respondent learning is impacted (Baker & LeBlanc, 2014). The impact of stimulus control can be seen in the areas of behavioral excesses and behavioral deficits. This symposium includes basic and applied research related to stimulus control and older adults. Talks will include research on stimulus equivalence and recognition among older adults with neurocognitive disorder, transferring stimulus control from one verbal operant to a deficit verbal operant for older adults with aphasia and/or neurocognitive disorder, the role of discriminative stimuli in functional analyses of disruptive vocalizations among older adults with neurocognitive disorder, and the impact of differing delays in a delayed match to sample task on remembering behavior among older adults with neurocognitive disorder.
Keyword(s): neurocognitive disorder, older adult, Stimulus control
The Effects of Different Step Sizes in a Titrating Delayed Matching-to-Sample Procedure in a Patient with Neurocognitive Disorder
HANNA STEINUNN STEINGRIMSDOTTIR (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sc), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )
Abstract: A delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) procedure has shown to be useful for investigating aspects of remembering or short-term memory. The DMTS procedure can either be arranged as fixed and titrating delays. In a fixed arrangement, the delay value is held constant, while in the titrating arrangement the delay values change as a function of number of correct and incorrect responses in a block of responses. The purpose of the present experiment was to compare the effects of different step sizes, 100 ms and 500 ms, by employing a titrating delay procedure in a patient with dementia. The main findings showed that smaller a step size (100 ms) was more effective in producing longer delays between sample and comparison than a longer (500 ms) step size.
Using Stimulus Equivalence to Teach Face and Relationship Recognition to Older Adults with Dementia
JELISA SCOTT (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Sarah A. Lechago (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Taylor Sweatt (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Tarah Bowser (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Individuals with dementia benefit from behavior analytic interventions (Bougeios, 1993; Brenske, Rudrud, Schulze, & Rapp, 2008). Stimulus equivalence preparations have been successfully employed to teach name-to-face matching in other clinical populations (Cowley, Green, & Braunling-McMorrow, 1992). In this study, we employed a pretest-train-posttest experimental design to assess whether using a stimulus equivalence preparation with an 82-year old male with dementia would result in his recognizing faces and remembering relationships as demonstrated through speaker responses, such as saying the name or relation and listener responses, like pointing to the correct picture card. The results demonstrate that the stimulus equivalence preparation was successful in establishing face and relationship recognition. Emergence to the mastery criterion was demonstrated for all but one of the untrained relations. The results are considered using the Naming Theory.
Effects of Programmed Discriminative Stimuli Used in a Functional Analysis on Language Disruptions of Elderly Adults with Neurocognitive Disorder.
DANIEL LARRABEE (Southern Illinois University ), Dawn Seefeldt (Southern Illinois University), Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Behavior problems such as language disruptions are increasing in conjunction with the population of elderly adults with dementia in nursing homes. However, few studies have included analyses appropriate for adults with dementia. In the current study, a multi-element functional analysis was conducted with three elderly adults who exhibited language disruptions to determine whether the inclusion of programmed discriminative stimuli increased differential responding. Once differential responding was achieved, a functionally derived intervention was created and the impact on target behaviors was be examined. Implications for using discriminative stimuli during functional analyses are discussed.

Evaluating Transfer of Stimulus Control Methods for Verbal Behavior Interventions with Older Adults

BRIDGET MUNOZ (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University), Allison Chamberlain (Southern Illinois University), Dawn Seefeldt (Southern Illinois University), Kathleen Fairchild (Rehabilitation Institute Southern Illinois University)

Baker, LeBlanc, and Raetz (2008) published a behavioral conceptualization of aphasia and proposed an assessment and treatment model for use with older adults. Several studies (Gross, Fuqua, & Merritt, 2013; Oleson & Baker, 2014; Trahan, Donaldson, McNabney, & Kahng, 2014) have since begun to assess and intervene on verbal behavior deficits among older adults with aphasia as well as neurocognitive disorder. Although one approach to remediating verbal behavior deficits is through a transfer of stimulus control from one verbal operant to another, to date no research has evaluated transfer of stimulus control methods for older adult populations. This talk will present data from older adults with aphasia and/or neurocognitive disorder where treatments (developed using the assessment approach proposed by Baker et al., 2008) incorporated a transfer of stimulus control component and an evaluation of the efficacy and efficiency of different methods.




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