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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Paper Session #321
Experimental Analyses of Gaze and Eye Tracking
Sunday, May 26, 2019
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Swissôtel, Concourse Level, Zurich BC
Area: EAB
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University)
Exploring Eye Gaze as an Operant
Domain: Basic Research
ISOBEL PORTER (Ulster University), Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University), Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University)
Abstract: Montague and Hyman (2004) believed that eye movements are sensitive to reward and, therefore, reward-based learning. It seems likely that reward based underpinnings to eye movements may become increasingly important to the understanding of eye movements and provide a promising new direction for research that are likely to underlie decisions about when and where to move the eyes. However, very few applications make use of eye tracking technology as a training tool utilising rewards. Thus, two experiments (Positive Reinforcement, and Negative Reinforcement) were designed to investigate the potential of eye movements as operants. Participants were adults within the age range of 18 – 69 years. A three stage resurgence procedure was implemented. Results showed that training of Response A and Response B followed a typical training pattern, in the first training trial locating the target stimulus took significant time across participants, latency to response decreased rapidly during the 20 trials. During the Resurgence phase, Responses A and B occurred at levels which would be considered insignificant to be termed as resurgence, according to various definitions. Implications and further research will be discussed, however, it seems highly plausible that eye movements can be trained and are sensitive to reward-based learning.

Using Eye Tracking Equipment to Teach Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder to Follow Social Cues

Domain: Applied Research
STEPHEN GALLAGHER (Ulster University), Aideen McParland (Ulster University), Michael Keenan (Ulster University)

The present studies used eye tracking equipment to teach children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (as well as typically developing children) to increase their gaze behaviour towards faces in a laboratory setting and in a real world context. In the lab setting 25 children watched real world conversation between two researchers on desk-based eye tracking equipment . In a classroom setting 22 children watched real world conversations using eye tracking glasses. In both studies, using the desktop equipment, children’s fixations on social stimuli were reinforced through a trigger mechanism and a token economy. Each child, watched real world conversation between two researchers again. All but one TD participants, and all ASD participants looked at faces longer and more often from baseline to re-test having undergone training.




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