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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Poster Session #186
EAB Sunday Noon
Sunday, May 24, 2015
12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
1. Effects of a Two-Component Chain Schedule of Reinforcement Related to an Imprinted Stimulus and Food on Chicks' Operant Responses Reinforced by the Imprinted Stimulus
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FUKUKO HASEGAWA (Tokiwa University), Tetsumi Moriyama (Tokiwa University)
Abstract: An imprinted stimulus comes to be a reinforcer for an arbitrary operant response. However, many studies reported that the responses gradually decreased as chicks or ducklings grew in laboratory settings. In that sense, we cannot confirm irreversibility of imprinting which Lorenz suggested as an important characteristic of imprinting in precocial birds. The present study investigated whether chicks' key-peck operant responses reinforced by an imprinted stimulus could maintain on a two-component chain schedule of reinforcement related to an imprinted stimulus and food. The subjects were four newly hatched white leghorn chicks. After hatching, they were imprinted to a moving red cylinder, and trained to peck a key in an operant chamber using the imprinted stimulus as a reinforcer. The experimental design was a multiple-probe design. In the baseline phase, continuous reinforcement schedule was conducted. The presentation of the imprinted stimulus was contingent on each chicks' key-peck response. After the phase, the two-component of chain schedule was conducted as an intervention phase. In the first link of the schedule, the chicks' key-peck responses were reinforced by the presentation of the imprinted stimulus. In the second link, in the presence of the stimulus, the chicks' pressing the panel produced food. During this phase, some probe sessions were conducted under CRF schedule in order to investigate the maintenance of the key-peck operant responses reinforced by the imprinted stimulus. The results showed that the chicks' key-peck response rates in the chain procedure were higher than those in the baseline phase. Moreover, the responses in the probe sessions were more stable than those in the baseline sessions.
2. A Comparison of Choice and Differential Reinforcement on Students' Computation Fluency
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
MAUREEN O'CONNOR (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Edward J. Daly III (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Polly Daro (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Mallory Johnson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Whitney Strong (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Mackenzie Sommerhalder (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Natalie Hoff (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Alicia Kruger (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Abstract: Although the antecedent strategy of task choice and differential reinforcement procedures (i.e., DRA and DNRA) appear in the literature as effective treatment options for problem behaviors maintained by negative reinforcement in the form of escape from instructional demands, studies have yet to compare these treatments to determine which produces optimal outcomes (Geiger et al., 2010; Smith, 2011). In the current study, functional analyses were conducted to identify elementary-school students whose academic responding was under a negative reinforcement contingency. A multielement design was then used to examine the impact of four treatments (task choice, DRA, task choice plus DRA, and DNRA) on each student's rate of correct digits per minute. Results (displayed below) demonstrated that all four treatments were effective and produced differentiated patterns of responding across students. For students A and D, DNRA produced the highest rates of correct digits per minute, whereas for student C, the highest rates of correct digits per minute were obtained for the DNRA and DRA conditions. Moreover, for student B, the highest rates of correct digits per minute were obtained for the DRA and DRA plus choice conditions. The results of this study suggest that differential reinforcement procedures are more effective than the antecedent strategy of task choice and that there are idiosyncratic differences regarding whether DRA or DNRA produces the strongest outcomes. These results may stimulate future research comparing functionally appropriate treatments for other forms of academic responding.
3. Resurgence of Operant Variability in Pigeons
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CHARLES FRYE (Utah State University), Jonathan E. Friedel (Utah State University), Ann Galizio (College of Charleston), Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Abstract: Across two experiments we developed a method for assessing resurgence of operant variability. Resurgence refers to the reappearance of a previously extinguished behavior when an alternative source of reinforcement is subsequently placed on extinction. We first established two distinct operants which served as the target and alternative responses in a resurgence preparation using 12 pigeons as experimental subjects. In Experiment 1 we assessed the viability of producing two separate response classes: sequences that start on the right vs. left. Baseline responding consisted of a lag 5 schedule of reinforcement with 4-peck sequences. Condition 2 consisted of a more stringent schedule: LAG+CONSTRAINT. In addition to the lag 5 criterion, reinforcement was also contingent on a sequence beginning on the left (half of the subjects) or right (the other half). Condition 3 consisted of a reversal; subjects on the right and left constraints were switched to the alternative constraint. In Experiment 2 we assessed resurgence of operant variability using the distinct operants established in Experiment 1. Condition 1 and 2 were replications of the LAG+CONSTRAINT and reversal conditions from Experiment 1. Condition 3 consisted of extinction of both operants. Resurgence of the response sequences reinforced in condition 1 was assessed.
4. Are Behaviors at One Alternative of Concurrent Schedule Independent of Contingencies at the Other Alternative?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University), Mary Kate Crenny (Fordham University)
Abstract: The stay/switch model views two-alternative concurrent schedules as consisting of two independent sets of choices (to stay or to switch) one set at each alternative. In contrast, most views consider just one set of choices, to respond at one alternative or the other. Five rats were exposed to symmetrical stay and switch schedules at the two alternatives, which replicated standard concurrent scheduling. After stable responding, stay and switch schedules at the left alternative remained constant while the schedules at the right alternative became extinction. After stable responding at the unchanged alternative, baseline schedules returned. . In two set of conditions, contingencies favored responding at either the left or right alternative. Within each set of conditions there were no consistent changes in run lengths or visit durations at the constant, left, alternative as contingencies at the right alternative were either reinforcement to extinction. These results are not consistent with views of choice as respond left or respond right. They are consistent with views that there are two sets of independent choices, to stay or to switch, in two alternative choice. According these results support the stay/switch model of choice and are inconsistent with the generalized matching law view of choice.
5. A Concurrent-Operants Method for Measuring Gain/Loss Asymmetry: IV. Gender Differences in Performance
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FRANK ROBERTSON (Brigham Young University), Marcia Ventura (Brigham Young University), Diego Flores (Brigham Young University), Veronika Tait (Brigham Young University), Michael Seeley (Brigham Young University), Harold L. Miller Jr. (Brigham Young University)

In the Sub Search Game, the player uses a mouse to move a submarine icon on a computer screen in order to retrieve underwater objects. The screen is divided vertically in half, with each half containing its own submarine, objects, and barriers. The player can switch between the half-screens at any point. Occasionally, according to concurrent VI VI schedules, retrieval results in the delivery of points via an on-screen counter. Retrieval may also produce loss of points but only on the left half of the screen. The sessions consisted of six 6-min components in which the reinforcer ratio varied as did the screen color. Punishers were delivered in half of the components on the left side of the screen. Half of the 20 players were female college students; the other half male. Figure 1 summarizes the results from one component of the game consisting of a 1:1 ratio of reinforcers. Punishers were delivered on the left side of the screen with the same frequency as reinforcers. Though males responded approximately 40 percent faster than females overall, the relative decrease in responding on the left screen (where punishers were presented as frequently as reinforcers were) was approximately the same.

6. A Concurrent-operants Method for Measuring Gain/Loss Asymmetry: V. Loss Aversion and the Sunk Cost Fallacy
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
VERONIKA TAIT (Brigham Young University), Diego Flores (Brigham Young University), Frank Robertson (Brigham Young University), Marcia Ventura (Brigham Young University), Michael Seeley (Brigham Young University), Harold L. Miller Jr. (Brigham Young University)

The Sub Search computer game is a new behavior-analytic method for the measurement of gain/loss asymmetry in judgment and decision making. Alternative, cognitively-oriented methods are well-established. To date no study has compared the two types of method. This study examined the sunk cost fallacy, that is, the tendency to persevere in investing in a risky option when all prior investments have failed, in terms of loss aversion, that is, the tendency to prefer uncertain losses to sure losses. It did so by employing the scenario-based methods of the cognitive approach as well as the Sub Search game. Participants were 30 college students who completed two surveys, one measuring sunk cost in three dimensions (time, effort, and money) and the other loss aversion. In addition, participants played the Sub Search game. The data were analyzed to determine the predictive relations between the results from the two cognitively-oriented methods, , ACT score, age (see Table 1), and the relation between those results jointly and the results from the behavior-analytic method. Relations were most robust for money.

7. The effect of choice opportunity and reinforcement value of activities on self-control in children with typical development.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FERNANDA CALIXTO (Universidade Federal de São carlos), Giovana Escobal (Federal University of Sao Carlos), Celso Goyos (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos )
Abstract: Self-control is understood as the choice of delayed consequence of larger magnitude in detriment of immediate consequence of smaller magnitude. Self-control enables individuals to contact with temporally distant reinforcements. This study aimed to develop a procedure to increase self-control. Two studies were conducted with eight participants, aged between 3 and 4 years. Study 1 aimed to install behavioral prerequisites for choosing between reinforcements with different delays and magnitudes. Three phases were conducted: Simple Discrimination Training, Reinforcement Magnitude Training and Reinforcement Delay Discrimination Training. Participants chose the delayed consequence of larger magnitude between 70% and 100% of choices. The same participants were exposed to Study 2. Study 2 aimed to investigate the effect of choice possibility between activities of high and low preference on self-control. Participants were exposed to Abruptly Increase of Reinforcement Delay Phase, No Choice Opportunity Condition with Low Preference Activities, Choice Opportunity Condition with Low Preference Activities, Choice Opportunity Condition with High Preference Activities and No Choice Opportunity Condition with High Preference Activities. Percentage of choices in delayed consequence of larger magnitude was above 80% when activities were high preferred independently of choice opportunity. In conclusion, reinforcement value was more significant on self-control than choice opportunity.
8. Food or Good Company? Choice Between Edible and Social Reinforcement in Rats
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LISA HIURA (Reed College Undergraduate), Lavinia C. M. Tan (Reed College), Timothy D. Hackenberg (Reed College)
Abstract: The value of one reinforcer may be modulated by the availability of another reinforcer. To explore how the motivation to obtain qualitatively distinct reinforcers is influenced by the reinforcement context, we investigated how three pairs of rats responded for food and social contact under concurrent progressive ratio (PR) schedules. Responding on one lever delivered a food reinforcer, while responding on another lever opened a door to release a trapped rat into the focal chamber for 10 seconds of social reinforcement. The largest completed ratios (breakpoints) for each reinforcer type were compared across various conditions of deprivation - food deprivation, social deprivation, and combined food and social deprivation. Responding was maintained by both reinforcer types, although the breakpoints were consistently higher under food reinforcement than social reinforcement. Additionally, responding for both consequences was affected by deprivation conditions, indicating that reinforcer value is modulated by both availability of alternate reinforcers and motivational conditions.
9. Comparing Concurrent Choice and Demand Curve Procedures as Assessments of Reinforcer Value
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
EVAN DAHL (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Molly A Barlow (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire), Carla H. Lagorio (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: Within behavioral and economic fields, there are several commonly utilized methods for assessing the value of a reinforcer, including concurrent choice, progressive ratio responding and breakpoints, and demand curve analyses. While these methods are utilized when assessing consumer preference and reinforcer efficacy, prior studies have demonstrated that the results of these measures do not always align. The current research analyzes this further, by comparing choice and demand for two different reinforcer types in rats – grain pellets and Ensure. Each subject completed demand functions for the two reinforcer types separately, and were then permitted free choice between the two commodities at different ratio values. Initial results indicate that while Ensure is highly preferred in a concurrent-choice paradigm (near exclusive preference for Ensure over grain pellets), grain pellets retain as high or higher levels of demand as does Ensure. Continued work is assessing how the bias parameter in the matching law and other common assessments of reinforcer efficacy align with these results and could add to the general understanding of reinforcer value.
10. Signaled Extinction Determines Preference in Rats: Implications for Conditional Reinforcement
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
TRAVIS RAY SMITH (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Eric A. Jacobs (Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Abstract: The present study assessed what factors determine preference in rats operating under contingencies of signaled probabilistic reinforcement using a concurrent chained schedule. A dependent concurrent random interval schedule arranged equal rates of transition from the initial link to the terminal link. In the terminal link, either a fixed-interval schedule of food reinforcement or extinction was arranged for center lever responses. The terminal-link stimulus in the signaled terminal link condition was different depending upon whether reinforcement or extinction was setup. The unsignaled terminal link provided the same terminal link stimulus regardless of whether reinforcement or extinction was setup. The relative probabilities of terminal link reinforcement varied between within-session components. In condition 1 the signaled option provided varying probabilities of reinforcement and the unsignaled option provided reinforcement with a 1.0 probability. Condition 2 replicated condition 1, however both options were unsignaled. Condition 3 replicated condition 1, however the unsignaled option provided reinforcement with a 0.5 probability. Overall, sensitivity to the relative probabilities of reinforcement was greater in the signaled condition. However, this was not due to an increased tendency to return to the option that previously provided signaled reinforcement, but rather a tendency to avoid returning to the option that previously resulted in signaled extinction. These results contradict the simple account of conditional reinforcement that predicts preference would be determined by preference for signaled reinforcement.
11. Effects of Reinforcement Magnitude and Magnitude-Specific Stimuli on Preference in Pigeons
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MICHAEL HARMAN (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Abstract: Pigeons will be trained on the concurrent-chains choice procedure. One terminal link will deliver a fixed duration of reinforcement (e.g., 3 s) in the presence of a white hopper light. Across conditions, the second terminal link will deliver a longer duration of reinforcement (e.g., 6 s). In some conditions, the second terminal link will deliver the longer duration of reinforcement in the presence of a white hopper light. In other conditions, the second terminal link will deliver the longer duration of reinforcement in the presence of a hopper light of a different color. Of interest is whether the pigeons reliably prefer the longer duration of reinforcement when both hopper lights are white, and then whether they prefer the longer duration to a greater degree when differential hopper lights are used.
12. The choice behavior of rats in multi-stage gambles using the lights as discriminative stimuli.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
XIAOTING SHI (Keio University), Takayuki Sakagami (Keio University)
Abstract: According to the expected utility theory, there should be no preference between gambles that have identical outcomes. However, we sometimes see a preference due to random features of gambling—for example, the order of experienced probabilities. In the present study, rats made 120 choices between two alternatives. Each alternative consisted of two stages leading with equal joint probability to identical outcomes. In one alternative, the first stage offered higher probability of winning than the probability of the second stage. In the other, the first stage offered lower probability than the second. The rats were divided into the two groups, the ITI condition and the non-ITI condition. In the previous experiments, the alternatives were discriminated by position of levers, and their results showed strong position preference. Therefore, in the present study we used two types of lights (on steady or flashing) as discriminative stimuli. As a result, in the non-ITI condition, one rat preferred the alternative in which the earlier stage had lower probability because the alternative has higher reinforcement rate than the other. However, the other rat preferred the alternative offering higher probability in the earlier stage. The order of probabilities may influence its choice.
13. Comparative Analysis of Probabilistic Token Reinforcement in Pigeons and Humans
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JEFF PISKLAK (University of Alberta), Christopher Madan (Boston College), Marcia Spetch (University of Alberta)
Abstract: In laboratory studies of choice, the class of reinforcer used varies across species. Pigeons, for instance, are often reinforced with consumable primary reinforcement (e.g., grains), whereas humans are typically reinforced with non-consumable forms of secondary reinforcement (e.g., points, money). Since the consumable nature of reinforcers used for non-human animal studies prevents the administration of losses, the asymmetric predictions of Prospect Theory – greater risk aversion for gains than losses – cannot be readily tested in other species. Recent evidence also suggests that these predictions may not hold when outcomes are learned through experience (as opposed to verbal description). To test Prospect Theory’s predictions in an experience-based choice task, as well as the potential effects of reinforcer class and reinforcer delay, we conducted a comparative study with pigeons and humans using a token-based reinforcement paradigm. Both species made choices between probabilistic gains and losses of tokens that were exchanged at varied intervals for terminal reinforcement: food access for pigeons and either television clips or points for humans. Prior research has demonstrated numerous biases where human and non-human animals deviate from rational decision-making. Here we test the boundary conditions of these biases, allowing for a better understanding of the mechanisms influencing choice behavior.
14. White-Crowned Pigeons are More Sensitive to Immediacy than Rock Doves
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Elizabeth Kyonka (West Virginia University), Shrinidhi Subramaniam (West Virginia University), DANIEL BELL-GARRISON (West Virginia University), James Anderson ( West Virginia University)
Abstract: It is sometimes said that rats (Rattus norvegicus) and rock doves (Columba livia) are used as subjects in psychology experiments because like humans, they are generalists: species capable of thriving in a wide variety of conditions. To test the hypothesis that the behavior of generalists is more adaptable than that of more specialized species, we compared the performance of four rock doves with that of two white-crowned pigeons (Patagioenas leucocephala). Compared to rock doves, white-crowned pigeons have a more limited natural range, habitat and diet. All six pigeons pecked in concurrent-chain schedules with fixed-interval terminal links. The duration of terminal links changed pseudorandomly each session. To quantify the sensitivity of pigeons’ behavior to changes in terminal-link duration, we regressed log initial-link response ratios on log terminal-link immediacy ratios using the generalized matching equation. Contrary to expectations, white-crowned pigeons’ response allocation was more sensitive to terminal-link immediacy ratio than that of three out of four rock doves. Within sessions, white-crowned pigeons’ sensitivity increased faster and stabilized at a higher value than sensitivity for all four rock doves. The greater sensitivity of their response allocation may indicate that white-crowned pigeons are able to adjust to some environmental changes faster than rock doves.
15. Using a Computerized Slot Machine to Evaluate the Effect of Bonus Rounds on Slot Machine Preference
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KELTI OWENS (Southern Illinois University), Jordan Belisle (Southern Illinois University), Albert Malkin (ErinoakKids), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Twenty-three undergraduate students operated a computerized slot-machine simulation involving the concurrent presentation of two slot machines that were varied both in win-density and the inclusion of an embedded bonus round feature. The results suggest that both win-density (F (1, 21) = 14.53, p = 0.001) and bonus rounds (F (1, 21) = 11.24, p = 0.003) had a significant effect on the participants’ slot machine preferences. There were no interaction effects between win density and bonus rounds (F (1, 21) = 0.04, p = 0.836). These findings replicate previous research on the effect of reinforcement schedules on slot machine play, and extend these findings by suggesting that contrivances such as bonus rounds in modern slot machine games may distract gamblers from the immediate contingencies surrounding their gambling behavior.
16. Converting Delay to Probability: Magnitude and Sign Effects
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
WOJCIECH BIALASZEK (University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS)), Piotr Zielonka (Warsaw University of Life Sciences), Maciej Gaik (Kozminski University)
Abstract: Probability and time are integral dimensions of many decisions, but their impact on choice has been rarely studied in combination. Traditional studies focus on time or probability as separate phenomena. Our investigation reports how do people estimate delay in probabilisty units. Participants (242 collage undergraduates) were asked to make a decision to adjust a risky payoff to a delayed payoff in domain of gains and losses. In other words they were giving a probability equivalent of time. The main result is that the function (i.e. time and probability tradeoff – p(t)) is strongly related to the time discounting – f(t), but not to the probability discounting – f(p). Furthermore there was a significant interaction of amount and sign in the p(t) and f(t) condition.
17. An Experimental Analysis of Human Preference for Choice
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ZACHARY H. MORFORD (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Over the past 40 years a variety of publications have demonstrated both animal and human preference for choice. In the standard experimental preparation, humans and animals respond on concurrent chain schedules of reinforcement in which the participants allocate responding to one of two initial links. One initial link (called the free choice link) leads to multiple response alternatives on its respective terminal link, and the second initial link (called the forced choice or restricted choice link) leads to either one response alternative, or fewer response alternatives than the free choice initial link. While there are relatively few publications along this line of research, the results are fairly ubiquitous in demonstrating that both animals and humans tend to prefer initial links associated with a larger number of response alternatives. This poster will describe several experiments with humans. It will display data from an experiment comparing two procedures that have been used in studies with humans. Additionally, it will display data from experiments investigating how the number of free choice terminal link options and the probability of reinforcement affect humans preference for choice.
18. Influencing Preferences for Neutral Objects
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College ), Jon Magnus Eilertsen (Oslo and Akershus University College), Asle Fagerstrøm (The Norwegian School of Information Technology)
Abstract: To influence preference and choice is one of the main goals of branding and consumer behavior research. Within stimulus equivalence and Relational Frame Theory, the transfer and transformation of stimulus function has been used to investigate the emergence of stimulus functions to previously neutral stimuli. Previous findings have shown that the derived transfer of emotive functions has altered and established the preference for soft drinks. In a recent study by Arntzen, Fagerstrom and Foxall (accepted) a simulated consumer choice was successfully influenced using a transfer of function training and testing procedure. The present study seeks to replicate the findings from Arntzen et al. (accepted). Three 3-member classes are formed with a many-to-one training structure. With a positive outcome on the test for emergent relations, D stimuli with different known symbols are trained to A (the node). The D stimuli consisted of weather chart symbols (rainy, part sun and sun) for one group, monetary symbols (50, 200 and 500) for the second group and neutral symbols (the dikes of Holland) for the third group. Following a transfer of function test, the participants were presented with at simulated consumer choice setting, presented with three water bottles. The water bottles were labeled with pictures of the abstract and neutral B stimuli (B1, B2, and B3). The results are shown in Table 1.
19. What’s in a bout? Functional manipulations of response rate components.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RYAN J. BRACKNEY (Arizona State University), Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
Abstract: Response bouts are the temporal clustering of individual responses separated by longer pauses. Past experiments have demonstrated that response bouts contain multiple, functionally dissociable dimensions, including the bout initiation rate, within bout response rate, and bout length. In order to examine the utility of response bout analyses as a means of identifying the behavioral processes responsible for unknown behavioral changes, rats were trained to lever press under variable interval schedules of reinforcements over six experiments. Response work requirements, response duration requirements, response count requirements, response disrupters, and rat strains were varied within experiments. The combined results found that the rate at which bouts are emitted is functionally independent of the temporal structure of responses within a bout across a wide range of manipulations. These findings suggest that, far from being a statistical curiosity, response bouts may represent a more sensitive and informative measure of behavior than individual switch closures.
20. Do Electronic Cigarettes Promote Smoking Cessation?
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
SARAH MARTNER (University of Florida), Brantley Jarvis (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: Electronic cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular and are often touted for their promise to help individuals quit smoking. Despite the growing numbers of electronic cigarette users, it is unknown how smokers use these devices during a quit attempt and whether electronic cigarettes promote smoking cessation. The current study will monitor conventional smoking and electronic cigarette use (referred to as “vaping”) in real time as six participants attempt to transition from conventional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes. The study will last up to 34 days and will utilize a within-subjects design. During this time, conventional smoking will be monitored using breath carbon monoxide samples that are submitted twice daily via the study website. Vaping will be measured using an electronic cigarette that tracks the time, duration, and intensity of each puff. Using these measures, along with craving and withdrawal reports, we can capture participants' smoking and vaping patterns as they attempt to quit.
21. Effects of Malate Supplementation on Food-Reinforced Alternation in a T-Maze
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ERIC S. MURPHY (University of Alaska Anchorage), Daniel Quinlan (University of Alaska Anchorage), Katie Royer (University of Alaska Anchorage), Christa Eussen (University of Alaska Anchorage), Alice Bostick (University of Alaska Anchorage), Colin McGill (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: We evaluated malate as a dietary intervention to improve food-reinforced alternation in male Fischer 344 rats. Sixteen aged (23 month) rats and 8 young (10 months) rats were used. The experiment was a 2 (Age: 10 months vs 23 months) X 2 (Diet: Control vs Malate Supplemented) between-subjects design. Rats were given 24 hr access to either a 10 mg/mL aqueous solution of malate (approximate dose of 200 mg/Kg) or plain water for six weeks. Following the supplementation period, food-reinforced alternation was assessed in a t-maze (10 trials each). Both young and old rats supplemented with malate (10 months: 92%, 23 months: 84%) demonstrated significantly higher alternation than control groups (10 months: 70%, 23 months: 56%). These data suggest that malate supplementation is a potent dietary intervention for the treatment of age-related decrements in behavioral performance.
22. The Functions of “Active Listening“
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CARSTA SIMON (Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway)
Abstract: According to communication theorists so called “backchannels”, that is sounds such as “hmm” produced by a listener, lead to continuation of a speaker’s talk. Under what conditions does verbal feedback induce the speaker to talk longer, or shorter, or slower, or faster? I pursued this question in an experiment in which individual participants watched 13 one-minute videos and reported the video’s content to a confederate. The latter varied her rate of feedback while listening to the participant’s reports. The dependent variables, the duration (measured in seconds) and speed (measured in syllables uttered per minute) of the participants’ talk varied depending on rate of feedback and instruction. Participants were either instructed to report upon the videos as long as they felt comfortable or to finish reporting and to go on to the next video as soon as they got the impression “the other participant” has understood the main points discussed in the video. Individual analyses of 30 subjects’ duration and speed of talk showed that a high rate of verbal feedback induced longer and faster talking of the subjects when they are supposed to talk as long as they feel comfortable and that higher rates of feedback have the opposite effect (inducing shorter talk) when subjects are supposed to explain the video’s main points until the listener has understood them.
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