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 #428
BPH Monday PM
Monday, May 25, 2015
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall C (CC)
1. The Differential Effects of Abilify on Escape and Automatically Maintained Problem Behavior
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSEA R. FLECK (New England Center for Children), Jason C. Bourret (New England Center for Children), Christine Gates (New England Center for Children), Jonathan Seaver (New England Center for Children), Cormac MacManus (New England Center for Children)
Abstract: The purpose of this analysis was to evaluate the effects of gradually increasing dose of Abilify on aggression maintained by escape from therapist proximity and head-directed self-injury maintained by automatic reinforcement. When the participant was not on Abilify, rates of self-injury were high and variable, and rates of aggression were low and stable. With each increase in the drug, we observed systematic increases in escape-maintained aggression while automatically reinforced self-injury was reduced to near zero levels. When a reversal from 12 mg to 10 mg was conducted, aggression was reduced to the level of behavior observed in the previous 10-mg phase, suggesting that the changes in drug dose were directly related to changes in behavior. Interpretation of these findings suggests that Abilify affected the value of escape from therapist proximity as a reinforcer for aggression as well as the value of automatic reinforcement for head-directed self-injury, consistent with a behavioral account of medication effects as establishing operations.
2. The Utility of Saliva Cotinine as a Measure of Abstinence in Contingency Management for Smoking Cessation
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
CYNTHIA J. PIETRAS (Western Michigan University), Catherine M. Gayman (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The present study will investigate the effectiveness of monitoring saliva cotinine twice weekly in a contingency management treatment for cigarette smoking. Delay discounting tasks will also be given to measure the effects of nicotine abstinence on impulsivity. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two groups: a contingent reinforcement (CR) group or a non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) group. Phase 1 (5 days) will consist of baseline phase. During Phase 2 (4 days), a contingency management procedure will be initiated in which participants from the CR group can earn draws from a cash lottery for decreasing breath CO samples. During Phase 3 (3 weeks), participants in the CR group can earn draws by submitting negative saliva cotinine and breath CO samples twice per week. It is anticipated that participants in the CR group will deliver more negative breath CO and saliva samples than those in the NCR group. Impulsivity may also decrease in individuals who stay abstinent. Data collected so far indicate that breath CO and saliva cotinine levels decreased more in the CR group during Phases 2 and 3. We expect greater relapse rates in the NCR group to become more apparent as more participants complete the study.
3. The Alcohol Purchase Task and Academic demands: the effects of gender, age, major, and hometown
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Callie Horton (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Kayla Fleck (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Amanda Terrinoni (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Jennifer Schwantz (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Elizabeth Osborn (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Abstract: Economic demand for alcoholic beverages can be assessed using the Alcohol Purchase Task (APT) where participants hypothetically buy drinks at escalating prices. The APT allows for detailed behavioral economic analyses including elasticity and breakpoint. Previous research has demonstrated that hypothetical academic demands decrease certain measures of demand. However, the roles of gender, age, academic major, and hometown have not been assessed. Using undergraduate volunteers at a Midwestern university, we employed a version of the APT that included academic demands. In addition to replicating earlier studies demonstrating the effects of academic demands, preliminary analyses also indicate that alcohol purchases by undergraduate students differ based on the legal drinking age. That is, students of legal drinking age (n=24) appear to have higher average break points and higher average Omax and Pmax when compared to underage students (n=40). We plan to fully characterize the effects of gender, hometown, and academic major, as well, and if they interact with academic demands on alcoholic purchases.
4. The Alcohol Purchasing Task and Binge-Drinking Behavior
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Kayla Fleck (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Callie Horton (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Amanda Terrinoni (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Jennifer Schwantz (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Elizabeth Osborn (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), MATTHEW E. ANDRZEJEWSKI (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
Abstract: The Alcohol Purchasing Task is a validated measure of demand for alcoholic beverages. It asks participants to hypothetically purchase alcoholic beverages at escalating prices. Hypothetical academic demands (e.g. an exam the next day at 8:30 am) have been shown to decrease certain measures such as break point (the price that suppresses alcohol purchases to zero) and Pmax (the price associated with maximum alcohol expenditure). In addition to asking our Upper Midwestern university undergraduates to complete the APT, we asked questions regarding binge-drinking behavior. Preliminary results from our study show a high correlation between binge-drinking behavior and a willingness to purchase alcoholic beverages at a higher cost. Elasticity will be an important measure to consider within this study and will be a main point of comparison between binge-drinking and non binge-drinking student hypothetical purchases. In addition to elasticity, break point and Pmax, this study will also consider Omax and intensity when separating binge-drinking and non binge-drinking undergraduates. Findings have the possibility to help understand alcohol purchasing and behavioral economics of a novel population.
5. Serial Position Effects in Social Learning: Do a Cholinergic Antagonist Produces State Dependent Learning?
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Jonathan Castillo-Alfonso (Universidad del Bosque), Angela Mari­a Hermosillo-Garcia (Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), José Eduardo Pérez-Reyes (Facultad de Estudios Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Verónica Viviana Romero-Luna (FES Iztacala Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Guadalupe Ortega-Saavedra (FES Iztacala UNAM), Sara E. Cruz-Morales (FES Iztacala UNAM), J.C. PEDRO ARRIAGA-RAMIREZ (UNAM FES Iztacala)
Abstract: Studies in social transmission of food preference have shown reliable serial position functions in rats. Functions may show primacy or recency. Studies in behavioral pharmacology have shown that cholinergic antagonists may produce deficits in acquisition and recall in different tasks. In this study, we assessed if state dependent learning would be produced in a group under the effect of scopolamine both during acquisition and during testing. In this Experiment, we compared four groups. Control and Saline Groups compared to a group that received a dose of scopolamine before demonstration and before testing and to a group that received a dose of the drug after demonstration. Testing was made after 24 hr. The groups had 12 observers that interacted with a list of three demonstrators that have eaten different flavored foods, with position counterbalanced. Results showed a non-significant quadratic contrast for serial position F (1, 44) = 3.26, p = .08 and a small effect size r = .15. A reliable linear interaction of group and position F (3, 44) = 3.114, p = .036. No state dependent learning was observed, State group performed similar to 8 mg/kg group, both different from control and saline groups.
6. Examination of the Sex Differences in the Acute Response to Haloperidol
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
DANTON SHOEMAKER (University of North Texas), Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Women receiving antipsychotic drug therapy tend to have a greater number and more severe side effects than men. The purpose of the present study is to examine sex-differences in response to antipsychotics using a force-based licking task. Prior research has shown that the force-based licking task is a sensitive predictor of motor side-effects associated with antipsychotics, but this has only been studied in male rats. Four male and four female Sprague Dawley were trained to lick a disk mounted atop a force transducer. Licking produced continuous access to an 8% sucrose solution. Sessions terminated after 15 min. To date, we have collected baseline data on several quantitative dimensions of licking between males and females. In general, male rats lick more than female rats, but these differences disappear when body weight is considered. Additionally, quantitative features of licking, such as the maximal (peak) force exerted during licking or the total force expenditure (i.e., time-integral of force) are not different between males and females. In the next phase of the study, set to begin in the next 1-2 weeks, we will begin dosing rats bi-weekly with a range of doses of haloperidol to determine if sex affects its motoric side effects.
7. Reinforcement Schedule Effects on Impulsivity during a Contingency Management Smoking Cessation Trial
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
SAMANTHA SALDANA (University of Texas at San Antonio), Paul Romanowich (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Richard Lamb (University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio)
Abstract: Previous research shows that impulsivity decreases when people stop smoking, as measured through a delay discounting procedure. However, impulsivity changes have typically been measured between groups and not within groups. In two separate contingency management smoking cessation clinical trials breath carbon monoxide (CO) was measured daily to detect smoking over 60 visits. In addition, delay discounting questionnaires were administered at intake and visit 60. In experiment 1 participants were randomly assigned to either an escalating, percentile, or non-contingent breath CO reinforcement schedule. In experiment 2 participants were randomly assigned to either an escalating, fixed-magnitude, or non-contingent breath CO reinforcement schedule. In experiment 1 all three groups were more impulsive at visit 60, relative to intake (see Figure 1; p < 0.05). In experiment 2 a similar pattern was observed, except for the escalating group, which showed no change (see Figure 2). In contrast to previous between-group studies, impulsivity did not decrease with extended smoking abstinence. Therefore, the time frame for impulsivity to change after smoking abstinence may be much longer than the 60 visits experienced by the current participants.
8. Reinforcement Schedule Effects on Craving during a Contingency Management Smoking Cessation Trial
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
BRYAN DIMLER (University of Texas at San Antonio), Paul Romanowich (The University of Texas at San Antonio), Richard Lamb (University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio)
Abstract: Smokers who report increased craving following smoking cessation show poor treatment outcomes. However, no study has examined whether reinforcement schedule influences self-reported craving. We examined whether escalating and fixed-magnitude reinforcement schedules would have a differential effect on self-reported craving in treatment seeking pack-a-day smokers. Escalating participants received $5.00 for their BCO sample < 3 ppm, with a $0.50 increase for each consecutive sample. Fixed-magnitude participants received $19.75 for each BCO sample < 3 ppm. Sixty-three participants were able to maintain abstinence (breath carbon monoxide (CO) < 3 ppm) for at least 20 consecutive visits. Results showed that fixed-magnitude participants reported higher levels of craving starting on the first day of abstinence, relative to escalating participants (p = .055). This group difference for craving increased as abstinence continued (see Figure 1). Thus, even when the amount of smoking abstinence was controlled for, craving differences occurred. The current experiment was not powered to detect long-term outcome differences. Therefore, future research should examine whether these craving differences are both reliable and result in treatment outcome differences.
9. Unpredictable Availability as a Determinant of Cocaine Choice in Rhesus Monkeys
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
SALLY L. HUSKINSON (University of Mississippi Medical Center), James Rowlett (University of Mississippi Medical Center), Nancy M. Petry (University of Connecticut School of Medicine), Kevin B. Freeman (University of Mississippi Medical Center)
Abstract: Changing the responses required and reinforcer magnitude for drug and non-drug reinforcers can alter drug choice. These effects have been demonstrated primarily with fixed schedules and magnitudes of reinforcement. However, among humans and relative to non-drug reinforcers, illicit drugs may be less predictable in terms of availability, quality, location, time, and price. Thus, predictability may be an important aspect of reinforcement that differs for illicit drugs relative to other alternatives. We hypothesized that cocaine would be a more potent reinforcer in rhesus monkeys when the responses required and magnitude of each dose were unpredictable. Male rhesus monkeys chose between doses of cocaine. In control conditions, schedule and cocaine dose were fixed. In other conditions, the schedule, dose, or both were made variable on one lever while all aspects on the other lever remained fixed. Sessions consisted of 6 sample and 12 choice trials, each followed by a 20-min timeout. Three of four subjects chose the variable over the fixed schedule, two of four subjects chose the variable over the fixed dose, and three of three subjects chose the variable alternative when both schedule and dose were variable. Not all subjects reliably chose the unpredictable schedule or dose alone. However, across conditions and subjects, the variable alternative was chosen in eight of eleven cases, suggesting that unpredictable cocaine availability may increase its potency and value as a reinforcer. Unpredictability may be an important aspect of drug choice, especially for illicit drug abusers.

Neurobehavioral Screening of n-Hexane Chronic Exposed Workers in Soybean Mills

Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
DAVID A. ECKERMAN (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Rodrigo de Oliveira (University of Brasilia), Vanessa Menezes (Federal University Of Goiás at Jataí), Katrine Silva (Federal University Of Goiás at Jataí), Raphael Cardoso (Pontifical Catholic University Of Goiás), Diane Rohlman (University Of Iowa), Andr� A. Bravin (Federal University Of Goi�s at Jata�), Lincoln S. Gimenes (University of Brasilia)

Hexane is a solvent used in extraction of soybean oil. Little is known about the behavioral effects of chronic and low concentration exposure. The aim of this study was to do a neurobehavioral screening using the Behavior Assessment and Research System and the Romberg Test, to verify if workers might have neurobehavioural impairments. 81 exposed (n=35) and control (n=45) workers participated. The screening occured at the beginning of their work week. Confounding factors were analyzed by surveys. Two statistical approaches were used. Permutation tests (PT): compared control and exposed groups for confounds and neurobehavioral outcomes. Linear regression (LR): compared outcomes adjusted for age and education. For PT, the groups did not differ on confounders; exposed workers showed a lower sway latency on Romberg (p<0,05), and a slight increase in one measure of Simple Reaction Time (p<0,05). For LR, there was no statistical difference between the groups for any neurobehavioral outcome. However, most neurobehavioral measures typically related to solvent exposure were lower for the exposed group, raising concern for worker risks. These concerns should be addressed in follow up studies.

11. Gestational Exposure to a High-Fat Diet and Polyinosinic: Polycytidylic Acid in Mice: Effects on Spatial and Visual Discrimination
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
STEVEN R BOOMHOWER (Auburn University), Megan Arnold (Auburn University), M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
Abstract: Obesity during pregnancy is associated with learning deficits in humans. The mechanism through which maternal obesity may affect behavioral flexibility in offspring is unclear, but increases in inflammation that result from prenatal high-fat diet exposure may be one possibility. The present experiment was designed to assess the degree to which gestational exposure to a high-fat diet and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C, a pro-inflammatory drug) affected spatial and visual discrimination in mice. C57BL/6 mice were exposed to three dietary conditions (n=15 male and n=15 female in each)standard chow, high-fat diet, and high-fat diet + glycan (an anti-inflammatory drug)and three inflammation conditions (n=10 male and n=10 female in each)saline, poly I:C, and poly I:C + glycanduring gestation. As adults, mice were trained on a spatial discrimination procedure followed by a visual discrimination procedure (i.e., an extradimensional shift). In general, mice exposed to poly I:C omitted fewer trials than controls and poly I:C + glycan mice in both procedures and made more errors in the transition from spatial to visual discrimination. A similar pattern occurred with mice prenatally exposed to a high-fat diet, but only in the visual discrimination task.

Methoxetamine's Behavioral Effects on a Multiple FR 30 FI 240s Schedule

Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
MICHAEL MATHEWS (Univeristy of North Carolina Wilmington), Wendy Donlin Washington (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

The present study attempted to establish a useful dosing recommendation for methoxetamine, a drug previously unstudied in controlled behavioral studies. We evaluated the effects of methoxetamine on responding of rats under a multiple Fixed Interval 240 sec Fixed Ratio 30 schedule. The two schedules alternate, allowing for sensitivity to various effects. Four rats responded under the schedule with drug doses of 0.1, 0.3, 0.6, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 mg/kg. This study partially replicated Wenger and Dews (1975), which evaluated effects of phencyclidine, ketamine, d-amphetamine, and pentobarbital on schedule controlled behavior in mice under a multiple FR 30 FI 300 sec schedule. The Fixed Interval had lower response rates, was more variable, and had an ED50 between 1-2 mg/kg. The Fixed Ratio had higher response rates, and had a higher ED50 between 2-2.5 mg/kg. Results suggest doses ranging from 0.6 3.0 mg/kg could be used in a future dosing regimen.

13. The sequential administration of drug abstinence contingencies: A method to promote polydrug abstinence
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
AUGUST F. HOLTYN (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Anthony DeFulio (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: We examined the sequential administration of employment-based abstinence contingencies as a method to promote polydrug abstinence among people who inject drugs. People who inject drugs were invited to work in the Therapeutic Workplace, a model employment-based program for drug addiction. Participants (n=33) could work for 4 hr every weekday for 30 weeks and earn about $10 per hr. During a 4-week induction, participants could work and earn maximum pay independent of their treatment status and drug use. After induction, access to the workplace was contingent on enrollment in methadone treatment. After participants met the methadone enrollment contingency for three weeks, participants had to provide opiate-negative urine samples to maintain maximum pay. After participants met those contingencies for three weeks, participants had to provide opiate- and cocaine-negative urine samples. The percentage of urine samples that were negative for opiates and cocaine remained stable until the abstinence reinforcement contingency for each drug was applied. The percentage of opiate- and cocaine-negative urine samples increased abruptly and significantly after the opiate and cocaine abstinence contingencies, respectively, were applied. Employment-based abstinence reinforcement can increase opiate and cocaine abstinence among people who inject drugs. The sequential administration of abstinence contingencies may be a viable method to address polydrug abuse.
14. Naltrexone but not baclofen treatment during abstinence attenuates reinstatement of alcohol self-administration in baboons
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
AUGUST F. HOLTYN (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Barbara J. Kaminski (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), Elise Weerts (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disorder with many individuals returning to alcohol abuse after detoxification and abstinence. Baclofen, a GABAB receptor antagonist, may be a viable medication to help prevent relapse. We examined whether baclofen and naltrexone (as a positive control) treatment initiated and maintained during alcohol abstinence would attenuate the increase in alcohol seeking and self-administration upon return to alcohol access (the alcohol deprivation effect or ADE) and decrease alcohol seeking and self-administration across the treatment period. Four baboons self-administered alcohol under a three-component chained schedule of reinforcement. Each component was associated with distinct stimuli and behavioral contingencies, which modeled periods of anticipation (Component 1), seeking (Component 2), and consumption (Component 3). No behavioral contingencies were in effect during Component 1. Responses in Component 2, required to gain access to Component 3, provided indices of seeking behavior. The opportunity to self-administer alcohol was only available in Component 3. Baclofen (0.1-1.8 mg/kg), naltrexone (1.0-5.6 mg/kg), or vehicle was administered daily beginning on Day 1 of a 5-day forced abstinence period and treatment was continued for 5 days of alcohol access (i.e., 10 days of treatment). Stable baseline self-administration was then reestablished and maintained for at least two weeks before the next treatment-abstinence period. When compared to vehicle, baclofen did not prevent ADE on Day 1 and did not reduce alcohol seeking or self-administration across the treatment period. In contrast, naltrexone attenuated ADE on Day 1 and reduced alcohol seeking and self-administration across treatment days. Although baclofen is under investigation as a potential alcohol use disorder treatment to prevent relapse, the present findings do not support the use of baclofen to reduce relapse to heavy drinking.



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