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 #239
Computer Gaming and Behavior Analysis
Sunday, May 24, 2015
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
007B (CC)
Area: EAB/AAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: James Heys (St. Cloud State University)
Discussant: Zachary H. Morford (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: One force driving advances in science are technological innovations. The development of micro arrays has revolutionized research in genetics. Innovations in computer technology may be dived into software and hardware advances. The present symposium will examine technological advances brought about by the popularity of computer gaming. In the last few years several devices were developed that detect a wide variety of human behavior and computer games were developed in which users did not click buttons but behaved much as they might in the natural environment. The presentations today combine these technological advances with behavior analysis to explore how they may advance field. Computer gaming offers opportunities to promote new behaviors, such as sports skills in environments in which contingencies are more easily and immediately controlled. The first presentation examines the use of games as a method for training sports skills. Gaming technology produced cameras capable of recording in three dimensions. The second presentation uses one such device, the Kinect, to detect behaviors in pigeons and assesses the utility of this method.
Keyword(s): gaming, kinect, sports, vision technology

Naive Bowlers Produce Similar Bowling Patterns from Training in Natural and Analogue (PlayStation 3) Environments

JAMES HEYS (St. Cloud State University), Benjamin N. Witts (St. Cloud State University)

Many people in the United States consume more calories on a daily basis than they expand, partly due to a sedentary lifestyle involving television and video games. Research that capitalizes on preferred activities like video games to increase caloric expenditure would stand to improve the health of many individuals. While commercially-available videogames have been used in research for decades, more recent advances such as motion-based controls have expanded their use, demonstrating that these videogames can be useful in increasing activity levels of those who play them. The current study extends previous research in motion-based gaming by exploring their utility in bringing out sport-related behavior. Specifically, five naive bowlers demonstrated that with repeated interaction with analogue (i.e., video-game) and real bowling situations skill, defined as number of pins knocked down in ten frames, became less variable. General results support the idea that these games can be used to alter sport-related behaviors, and future research is explored in terms of behavioral cusps.


Using a KINECT to Detect Fine and Gross Behavior in Pigeons

JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University), Damian Lyons (Fordham univesity), Kelly Cunningham (fordham university)

In behavior analytic research, simple electromechanical devices are virtually the only method of automatically detecting behavior in humans and animals, which limits the responses and questions investigated. KINECT is a device that takes three dimensional images in real time and with appropriate software detects human action. It is a popular computer gaming device. The purpose of this research was assess the usefulness of the KINECT in detecting pigeons fine, key pecking, and gross, feeding, behavior. Five pigeons experienced pecked a Gerbrands pigeon key for food reinforcement. The contingencies and pecking data were controlled and recorded using MED-PC IV. In addition, a KINECT recorded sessions at approximately 30 frames per second. The KINECT data was then fed through two filters to detect pecking and feeding. After sessions, key pecks recorded by MED-PC IV and those by the KINECT were compared, as were feeding. We found over 95% agreement between the MED-PC IV data and the KINECT derived data. The KINECT opens doors to research that previously was very difficult to accomplish. For example, investigations methods of shaping behavior, or examining multiple typographically difference behaviors simultaneously, such as pecking, leg lifting, and a wing flap are possible.




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