Association for Behavior Analysis International

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41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #314
Investigations of derived relational responding with nonhuman subjects
Monday, May 25, 2015
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
007A (CC)
Area: EAB/TPC; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Recent empirical and conceptual developments (e.g., Wasserman & Frank, 2005; Urcuioli, 2008) have suggested that the failure to observe derived relational responding in nonhuman subjects is the result of procedural artifacts. Procedures that preclude the development of these artifacts have begun to produce reliable evidence of associative symmetry in pigeons. This symposium brings together from four different laboratories investigating derived relational responding with nonhuman subjects. Stancato & Vaidya present a review of investigations of derived relational responding with nonhuman subjects and identify experimental procedures that correlate with successful nonhuman demonstrations of derived relational responding. Galizio and colleagues present data on rats performance on the go/no-go task and document failures on symmetry trials despite highly accurate performance on tests for generalized identity matching. Velasco and Tomanari present results suggestive of emergent transitivity and equivalence with pigeons with signal durations serving as sample stimuli and the nodal stimulus. Finally, Swisher and Urcuioli arranged procedures expected, by Ucuiolis theory, to lead to emergent reflexivity without a history of identity matching. The data collected so far are consistent with these predictions.

Keyword(s): go/no-go procedure, nonhuman subjects, Stimulus Equivalence
Successive Matching and Associative Symmetry: A Review
STEFANIE S. STANCATO (University of North Texas), Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
Abstract: The classical method of studying associative symmetry in non-human animals has been to use match-to-sample procedures, in which the comparison stimuli are shown concurrently in spatially different locations. Within the recent decade however, investigators have utilized a go/no-go (successive) matching procedure to investigate associative symmetry, in which all stimuli are presented in one spatial location. In light of this change of procedures and positive results (Frank & Wasserman, Exp. 1, 2005, and Urcuioli, Exp. 3, 2008), we reviewed the literature of successive matching in the investigation of associative symmetry. Studies that met criteria for inclusion were evaluated along the dimensions related to the characteristics of subjects, training structure, sample/comparison modality and location, sample/comparison duration, inter-stimulus/ inter-trial interval durations, and the overall methodology. Particular attention was paid to the manner in which data were analyzed and what analyses suggest. The results of this review identified the best procedural practices that facilitate the emergence of associative symmetry.
Emergent Same-Different but not Symmetry Relations in Rats
MARK GALIZIO (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Ashley Prichard (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: It has proven difficult to demonstrate emergent stimulus control in rats with visual or auditory stimuli, but recent work in our laboratory has shown evidence of generalized matching- and non-matching-to-sample (M- or NMTS) using a non-automated simultaneous conditional discrimination procedure with olfactory stimuli. We will now present data from rats trained on Go-No Go conditional discriminations using olfactory stimuli in an automated olfactometer in an effort to assess emergent same-different and symmetry relations. Rats were trained to make nose-poke responses to ports through which odor stimuli were presented. Seven rats completed baseline training using procedures patterned after Urcuioli (2008), but none showed evidence of emergent symmetry relations. However, using similar procedures, identity and oddity relations have emerged in eight of the nine rats tested. These studies suggest that use of olfactory stimuli provides a promising technique to study emergent relations in rats, but that even with these procedures, symmetry remains elusive.
Reflexivity, not Generalized Identity
MELISSA J. SWISHER (Purdue University), Peter Urcuioli (Purdue University)
Abstract: Most demonstrations of reflexivity are actually evidence for generalized identity matching. We used Urcuioli’s (2008) theory to predict emergent reflexivity after training pigeons on three arbitrary matching baseline tasks. The Reflexivity group matched form comparisons to hue samples (AB), hue comparisons to form samples (BC), and different hue comparisons to other hue samples (AC) in training. The Control group received training on the first two tasks only. When tested on form-form (BB) reflexivity probes, five of six Reflexivity pigeons showed evidence for reflexivity; only one of three Control pigeons showed did. We believe that these results are the first demonstration of true reflexivity in any animal (including humans).
Equivalence relations in pigeons following training with temporal samples
Saulo Missiaggia Velasco (Universidade de Sao Paulo), GERSON YUKIO TOMANARI (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: The present experiment investigated equivalence relations in pigeons using a symbolic matching-to-sample task with temporal stimuli as the samples and hues as the comparisons. The experiment comprised three phases. In Phase I, four pigeons learned to choose a red keylight (R) but not a green keylight (G) after a 1-s signal. They also learned to choose G but not R after a 4-s signal. In Phase II, correct responding consisted of choosing a blue keylight (B) after a 4-s signal and a yellow keylight (Y) after a 16-s signal. Comparisons G and B were both related to the same 4-s sample, whereas comparisons R and Y had no common sample. In Phase III, R and G were presented as samples, and B and Y were presented as the comparisons, and vice versa. On half of the trials, the choice of B was correct following G, and the choice of Y was correct following R. On the other half of the trials, the choice of G was correct following B, and the choice of R was correct following Y. If an equivalence relation between comparisons that shared a common sample were to emerge, then responding to B given G and G given B would be more likely than responding to Y given R and R given Y. The results were consistent with this prediction for two of the four pigeons, thus suggesting the formation of an equivalence class involving the hues related to the same temporal stimulus as nodal sample.



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