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 #528
Some Current Directions in the Analysis of the Recurrence of Behavior
Monday, May 28, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, San Diego Ballroom A
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Michael Steele Yencha (West Virginia University )

Resurgence research has enjoyed considerable attention for both its theoretical and applied relevance. Resurgence is defined as the transient recurrence of a previously reinforced response following the worsening of reinforcement conditions associated with an alternative response. This symposium is concerned with research focused on the variables that influence the recurrence of behavior following a period of non-reinforcement in both human and non-human participants. The first presentation will discuss the impact of immediate reinforcement histories on subsequent resurgence. The second presentation will cover the effects of instructions and different schedules of reinforcement during the alternative reinforcement phase on subsequent resurgence with human participants. Finally, the third presentation will discuss the relation between resurgence and the acquisition of novel responding in both between and within-session designs. Together, these experiments highlight some of the current directions in resurgence research with both human and non-human experiments.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Extinction, Relapse, Resurgence
The Role of Immediate Reinforcement History on Resurgence
ANTHONY OLIVER (West Virginia University ), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: In a typical resurgence procedure, a response is first reinforced and then extinguished as an alternative response is reinforced. During the resurgence test phase, both the target and alternative response are extinguished. In the current procedure, a four-phase resurgence procedure was used to evaluate the impact on resurgence of a history of not engaging in the target response followed by a more typical alternative reinforcement phase. During the training phase, both the alternative and target response were reinforced according to a concurrent VI VI schedule. In the first alternative reinforcement phase (AR phase), target key responding was eliminated with a differential reinforcement procedure and the alternative response was maintained using a VI schedule. In the second AR phase, reinforcers were only obtained from the alternative response. Finally, during the resurgence test (RT) phase both the alternative and target response were no longer reinforced. Resurgence occurred with all three pigeons, thus indicating that the relatively more recent reinforcement history of not engaging in the target response does not mitigate resurgence. Furthermore, the observed increases of the target response during the RT phase indicate that an explicit reinforcement history and not a more general induction process accounts for the observed effects.

Effects of Instructions and Dense Versus Lean Alternative Reinforcement on Resurgence

HYPATIA A. BOLIVAR (University of Florida), David J. Cox (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)

Resurgence can be defined as the reoccurrence of a previously reinforced "target" response when differential reinforcement for an alternative response is removed (Lattal & St. Peter, 2009). Resurgence is often studied in three phases: Target reinforcement occurs in Phase 1; alternative reinforcement and target extinction are programmed in Phase 2; and extinction is programmed for both responses in Phase 3. Previous researchers have compared dense versus lean rates of alternative reinforcement in Phase 2 on resurgence. Nonhuman animal studies have generally shown greater suppression of target responding under dense alternative reinforcement. However, lean rates are associated with a smaller resurgence effect in Phase 3. Smith et al. (2017) observed similar results using a brief laboratory procedure with college students. However, the dense and lean reinforcement schedules differed by only a few seconds. We sought to determine whether similar patterns would emerge in humans using schedules more common in nonhuman research. We also examined if different instructions for how to respond in Phase 1 would improve discrimination in that phase and influence behavior in subsequent phases. Current results (n=31) replicate the general patterns of target responding observed by Smith et al. (2017) and indicate instructions improve discrimination in Phase 1.


Resurgence in a Multi-Response Task After Continuous Reinforcement in Between-Session and Within-Session Designs

MONICA VANDBAKK (Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis; Oslo and Akershus University College), Iver H. Iversen (University of North Florida)

Resurgence of previously conditioned behavior in situations with extinction plays an important role in the formation of novel behavior. In two experiments with rats, resurgence was examined in a multi-response situation. In Experiment 1, each response (of 6) was under continuous reinforcement (CRF) in a full session of 50 reinforcers. Next session a new response was conditioned, and so on for six sessions. Resurgence of previously conditioned responses emerged in the beginning of most sessions before the novel response was emitted (or shaped). In Experiment 2, each session was divided into six components of CRF and extinction with 10 reinforcers for a new response in each CRF component (the reinforced response sequence was different each session). Responses reinforced in the first two components each session showed patterns of resurgence in subsequent extinction components whereas responses reinforced in subsequent CRF did not show much evidence of resurgence in later extinction components. The experiments were performed with responses of similar topography (lever presses) or with different topography. Resurgence can occur at a very local level and be influenced by earlier reinforcement in the same session.




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