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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #349
CE Offered: BACB
Planarians on Drugs and Cockroaches in Shock: Welcome to Animal Labs Version 2.0
Sunday, May 27, 2018
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom A
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Kevin Erdner (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Jacob H. Daar (Northern Michigan University)
CE Instructor: Jacob H. Daar, Ph.D.

The field of behavior analysis has its roots set in research on animal behavior. From traditional white rats to shelter dogs to aquatic animals, behavioral researchers have been able to consistently create new experimental procedures to analyze basic animal behavior. More recently, invertebrate laboratories have become more popular as the research benefits begin to present themselves. The current symposium will showcase research from two different laboratories studying invertebrate behavior. Planarians, a type of flatworm, were given various doses and types of metabolites from nicotine. These planarians were further examined for reinforcing effects of the metabolites and organism mobility. For the second presentation, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches were placed on a shock grid in an operant chamber to evaluate the organism movements and the latency to terminate the shock. These two university laboratories will discuss the implications and benefits of using an invertebrate model for basic behavioral research and further research avenues for these organisms.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Cockroach, Invertebrate Lab, Planarians, Shock
Target Audience:

Animal researchers, behavior analysts, students of behavior analysis, animal science researchers

An Assessment of Escape Responding in the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
LINDA MUCKEY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The following study presents an investigation of escape responding in Madagascar hissing cockroaches (Gromphoradhina portentosa). Using a standard operant chamber with shock grid, the effect of varying shock amperages on cockroach escape behaviour were assessed. A piece of textured Plexiglas was placed on the shock grid of the operant chamber, whereby movement of the cockroach to the Plexiglas would terminate shock. Cockroaches were placed in the apparatus and shock was presented; latency to escape response and duration spent on the textured Plexiglas were measured as the dependent variables. Results of these data suggest that Madagascar hissing cockroaches exhibit escape responding in the presence of electric shock. Variability of escape response was evidenced in all shock conditions. Additionally, greater response variability of escape responding was noted in the presence of higher amperages of shock. Though response variability of escape responding was shown, escape responses occurred in nearly all trials where shock was presented. Limitations of the procedures, as well as possible extensions will be discussed.

Assessment of the Interaction of Nicotine and Its Metabolites

BRADY J. PHELPS (South Dakota State University), Katelynn Erickson (South Dakota State University), Skylind Dvoracek (South Dakota State University), Shafiqur Rahman (South Dakota State University)

We are collecting data pertaining to the psychoactive properties of the major and minor nicotine metabolites, namely cotinine, anabasine and nornicotine, using Planarians. In addition, we will present data on the effects of nicotine and metabolites delivered together, which is more likely to be what an organism experiences due to the metabolism timeframe. So far, our most promising data comes from examination of cotinine. Unlike nicotine, cotinine lacks stimulant properties but like nicotine, cotinine will establish a conditioned place preference, which is an assessment of reinforcing effects. The effects of cotinine combined with nicotine remain to be examined, data collection is on-going. The stimulant properties will be assessed with two measures involving human observers: motility measured as the number of grid lines swam across over a 1cm2 grid placed underneath a Petri dish in a five minute interval, in different nicotine + metabolite concentrations and stereotypy/hyperkinesias-abnormal stereotyped movements indicative of strong stimulant concentrations. Stereotypies were counted as number of occurrences per five-minute interval during exposure to different concentrations of solutions of nicotine + the metabolite cotinine. The typical concentrations we assessed are .01mM, .03mM and .06mM, .1mM, .3mM., .6mM, 1mM and 3mM for nicotine combined with cotinine.




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