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 #224
CE Offered: BACB
A Multicultural Approach to Behavioral Gerontology: Evaluations of Behavioral Interventions for Aging Related Issues in the United States and Japan
Sunday, May 24, 2015
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jonathan C. Baker (Southern Illinois University)
CE Instructor: Jonathan C. Baker, Ph.D.
Abstract: Over the course of the 20th century, many areas of the world experienced a greying of the population (i.e., an increase in the proportion of the population over the age of 65). Although the United States - through medical advancement and the aging of the baby boomers - has just begun to experience the greying of the population (by 2030, 1 in 5 Americans is expected to be over the age of 65), other countries have already experienced a graying (e.g., Japan, where more than 20% of the population is already over the age of 65) and have begun to evaluate the impact of well designed behavioral interventions. This symposium, a joint project between the Multicultural Alliance for Behavior Analysts and the ABAI Behavioral Gerontology Special Interest group, will present a series of studies in both the United States and Japan aimed at developing and implementing behavioral interventions to address age related changes. Talks will include evaluations of toilet training and implications for current behavioral approaches, the impact of praise and reinforcement on lower limb weakness, basic research on the impact of reinforcement probability on motor tasks, and research assessing for behavioral independence.
Keyword(s): Behavioral Gerontology, Multicultural, Older Adult, Reinforcement
The relation between knee extension strength and lower extremity behaviors
YOSHITSUGU OMORI (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, St. Marianna University, Yokohama City Seibu Hospital)
Abstract: Lower limb weakness has been identified as an important risk factor for inability to perform behavioral functions. Despite the benefit of behavioral training programs, little is known about the relation between knee extension strength and behavioral functions. We assessed the relation between knee extension strengths and socially valid behavioral functions. One hundred and eighty three elderly male patients (median age 81.0) were enrolled in the study. Throughout the strength measurement, each subject was given consistent verbal encouragement and praise as reinforcement. To identify the relation between knee extension strength and lower extremity behaviors, R2 was conducted to compare the strength with behaviors. The R2 between the strength and behaviors were high, according to logarithmic function (R2 = 0.49). Moreover, threshold levels of knee extension strength existed that could predict lower extremity behaviors in elderly people. Below 0.37 of normalized strength against body weight, the walking speed reduced remarkably. These cut-off values of knee extension strength contribute towards prediction of the loss of lower extremity behaviors.
Motor cortex-evoked activity correlates with reinforcement of trial-and-error behavioral learning
MAKOTO SUZUKI (Kitasato Univers)
Abstract: Reward may induce reinforcement of transmission efficiency of cortical circuits. We investigated M1 excitability during the performance of trial-and-error tasks. Participants were 13 healthy volunteers. Each trial began with one of five colored circles presented as a cue. Two seconds after the presentation of the cue, the reward/cost stimulus was presented to the subject. Each color contained a 10%-90% reward probability. Each subject was instructed to decide whether to perform wrist flexion in response to the cue, and if the picture of a coin appeared after wrist flexion, the subject received the coin after the experiment. However, if a mauve circle appeared after the wrist flexion, the coin was deducted from the total reward per occurrence. We delivered transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the M1 at 1 s after the reward/cost stimuli. Behavior probability was increased in accordance with the increase of the reward probability that could be described by a binary logistic function. Motor potentials evoked by TMS were highest for 70% and 90% reward probability, whereas those after cost stimulus presentation were not changed. These results implied that reward probability could differently alter both behavioral probability and M1 excitability including the reward-related circuit.

Toilet training in the gerontological and neurologically-challenged populations: sensory and behavior implications

Fengyi Kuo (Indiana University), JANE YIP (Purdue University)

Individuals with brain-based disorders are often plagued with incontinence due to compromised processing between the peripheral and central nervous system. These individuals often have lower cognition level and may exhibit abnormalities such as encopresis, enuresis and fecal smearing. Toilet training also plagues the gerontological population as neural disconnection hinder the flow of information required to effect continence. The most commonly used behavior strategy is a combination of the Azrin & Foxx method (1971) and operant conditioning. Although these program have resulted in successful training in most cases, there is a considerable proportion of individuals who have not accomplished bladder and bowel control and therefore require intensive caregiving staff. A paucity of data precluded conclusions regarding the abnormality in individuals resistant to toilet training. This paper reviews methods to achieve independent self-care through behavior analytic approach, and proposes a sensory-neural understanding of the toilet training-resistant cohort, which is largely unknown. Case studies demonstrate how sensory experiences affect toilet training success and argues for its consideration in the toilet training regimen. Future collaboration between occupational therapy and behavior analysis will foster both theoretical development and practical application on treating neurologically challenged individuals in the most intimate aspect of self-care.

Predicting behavioral independences and disturbances in patients with dementia
AKI WATANABE (Kitasato University)
Abstract: The accurate prediction facilitates proper definition of goals of intervention for individual patients with dementia. We provide data on predicting the behavioral independences and disturbances by logarithmic regression. This study included two rounds of data collection comprising 29 dementia patients enrolled in the first round for the purpose of identifying the time course of behavioral independences and disturbances in the group data, and 19 dementia patients in the second round for the purpose of ensuring that the correlation of the group data applied to the prediction of each individual’s degree of behavioral independences and disturbances. In the first round, Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Dementia Behavior Disturbance Scale (DBDS) scores were assessed, and the scores were regressed on the logarithm of time. In the second round, calculations of FIM and DBDS scores were made for the first two scoring times to tailor logarithmic regression formulae. The time course of changes in FIM and DBDS scores resembled logarithmic functions. In addition, FIM and DBDS scores sampled at two baseline points based on logarithmic regression modeling could estimate prediction of FIM and DBDS scores accurately. This logarithmic modeling is simple enough to be adopted in daily clinical practice for dementia.



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