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.

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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

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Poster Session #252
Sunday, May 30, 2021
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Online
8.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together: Analyses of Coordinated Responding

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRIAN R. KATZ (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Experimental analyses of coordinated responding (i.e., cooperation) have been derived largely from a procedure described by Skinner (1962) involving pairs of subjects (dyads). In this procedure, an active schedule of reinforcement is coupled with a mutual-response requirement (Tan & Hackenberg, 2016) reinforcing one response from each subject emitted within a short interval. Although it has been suggested that mutual-reinforcement contingencies enhance rates of temporally coordinated responding (de Carvalho et al., 2018; Tan & Hackenberg, 2016), simultaneous changes in reinforcement schedules and the presence or absence of mutual-reinforcement contingencies across phases raise questions concerning this conclusion. The present experiments assessed the control of coordinated responding by mutual-reinforcement contingencies while holding the active schedules (Exp1: variable-interval 20s; Exp2: fixed-ratio 1) constant. In Experiment 1, higher percentages of coordinated response were observed under mutual than under independent-reinforcement conditions, indicating the effectiveness of the mutual reinforcement contingency. Conversely, in Experiment 2, no substantial differences were observed across phases due to the large variability observed during the independent-reinforcement phases. The present results thus confirm that mutual-reinforcement contingencies do induce higher rates of temporally coordinated responding than independent-reinforcement contingencies and invite further investigation regarding how the active schedule influences patterns and rates of coordinated responding.

 
9. The Movement Cycle Under the Microscope: Expanding the Behavioral Unit to Include Neural Activity
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
RYAN MATTHEW BUGG (University of North Texas), Daniele Ortu (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (University of North Texas)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract: Radical behaviorism rejects bifurcation and contends all events demonstrating sensitivity to behavioral principles, even brain responses and other responses of the central nervous system, be included in a behavioral account. The movement cycle offers a way to expand the behavioral unit to account for a coordinated sequence of behavioral events—including brain responses —as a repeatable unit. This study used Electroencephalography (EEG) and Event-Related Potential (ERP) methodologies to capture brain responses that are part of the movement cycle. Using both traditional behavioral measures and ERPs with one adult participant, motor responses and related neural activity were measured as part of the arm raising movement cycle. Future directions will involve modifications to contingencies to change underlying neural components (e.g., moving the reinforcer to different parts of the cycle).
 
10. Interactions Between Food and Water Motivating Operations Under Concurrent Food and Water Reinforcement Schedules
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
NICHOLAS L VITALE (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Christina M. Peters (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract: In organisms’ natural environments, many events function as motivating operations (MOs), and multiple reinforcers are available concurrently. Previous research has shown that 1) multiple MOs may interact in determining reinforcing effectiveness of a single event and 2) a single MO may alter the reinforcing effectiveness of multiple events. The purpose of the current study was to examine patterns of responding under various MO conditions when food and water reinforcement is concurrently available. Across all experiments, two groups of mice responded on concurrent schedules for sucrose pellets and water under four different MOs: food deprivation, food and water deprivation, water deprivation, or no deprivation. In Experiment 1, pellets and water were available on fixed-ratio 1 (FR-1) schedules for both groups. In Experiments 2 and 3, for one group the schedule for pellets was changed to a fixed-interval 30s (FI-30s) and then fixed-interval 60s (FI-60s) while water remained on a FR-1 schedule. For the other group, pellets remained on the FR-1 schedule while the water schedule was changed to FI-30s and then FI-60s. Allocation of responding for pellets and water depended on interactions between MO conditions and the amount of responding for the reinforcers on the FI schedules.
 
11. Investigation of a Nonsequential Model of Renewal
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
BRIANNA SARNO (West Virginia University), Kathryn M. Kestner (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract: ABA operant renewal is a model of relapse in which behavior established in a distinct context and then exposed to extinction in a separate context may reemerge upon a return to the original reinforcement context. Laboratory models of renewal are critical to inform clinical practice to mitigate the occurrence of relapse and facilitate the maintenance of treatment gains; however, current laboratory arrangements lack procedural similarity to applied settings. Nonsequential renewal is a modified procedure developed by Sullivan et al. (2018) that provides an alternative arrangement to study operant renewal in a manner more consistent with clinical experience. Two studies have compared renewal of responding in the nonsequential and typical (i.e., sequential) model, and the results have been mixed. The current experiment replicated the procedure of Craig et al. (2019) and compared renewal of target responding in rats that were exposed to the nonsequential or sequential renewal procedure. The use of a laboratory model of renewal that is more analogous to clinical settings may be more valuable in a translational approach to investigating relapse-prevention techniques.
 
12.

Effects of Individual and Dyadic Presentation to a Food-Searching Task on Locomotion Patterns in Rats

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FRYDA ABRIL DIAZ (Universidad Veracruzana), Varsovia Hernandez Eslava Eslava (Universidad Veracruzana), Alejandro Leon (University of Veracruz), Bernardo Castro (Universidad Veracruzana)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Previous studies have reported that the behavioral dynamics of a rat exposed to group foraging situations is different to the one observed when rats are individually tested. In general, in group situations, subjects decrease their feeding time and increase the traveled distance. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of presenting two female Wistar rats to a dyadic and individual food-searching task under conditions of free and restricted access to the food containers. Subjects were exposed to the task in a 99 x 99 cm experimental chamber with nine food containers. Locomotion patterns, traveled distance and recurrence in different areas of the experimental chamber were registered. No differences were found between dyadic an individual session in terms of traveled distance although it was observed a slight decrease in the free access condition. Also, more variation in routes were found in the dyadic that in the individual test with an increase in recurrence in this last condition for one of the subjects. The results of the study are discussed in terms of the modulating function of conspecifics in individual behavioral patterns.

 
13.

Motivational State-Dependent Conditioned Suppression

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MELIA SHAMBLIN (University of Nevada, Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno), Christina M. Peters (University of Nevada, Reno), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Several lines of research have shown that interoceptive cues such as those associated with deprivation/satiation states may come to function as discriminative stimuli when they reliably predict environmental events. This has been described as state-dependent learning. The purpose of this study was to determine if conditioned suppression can be discriminated on the basis of different motivational conditions. Eight mice responded for a sweetened condensed milk/water solution on a VI 30-s schedule, with half of the sessions following a 24-h period of food deprivation and half following a 24-h period of free access to food (0-h deprivation). During training sessions, a 1-min tone presentation was followed by shock under one MO condition for each group: 24-h deprivation for group 1 and 0-h deprivation for group 2. Conditioned suppression was observed for both groups, but reduced differentiation in suppression between the shock/no shock condition was observed for the group for which the 24-h deprivation MO condition predicted shock. These data suggest that conditioned suppression can come under the discriminative control of interoceptive food deprivation/satiation states, but also that the discriminative properties of the interoceptive states associated with these MOs interact with their motivational functions.

 
14.

Acquisition of Operant Behavior by Spontaneously Hyperactive Rat and Wistar Rats

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
FABIO LEYSER GONCALVES (Universidade Estadual Paulista)
Discussant: Rafaela Fontes (Utah State University)
Abstract:

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by hyperactivity, impulsive behavior and sustained attention deficit. Recent etiological theories implicate changes on reinforcement sensitivity as a core process in ADHD. Spontaneously Hyperactive Rat (SHR) is a lineage widely used as an animal model of ADHD. Research with SHR had find changes on reinforcement processes as changes on acquisition rate, on conditioned reinforcement function and resistance to extinction. Previous research, conducted in our laboratory, indicated differences on conditioned reinforcement, only after several sessions under extinction contingency. One of the problems on the interpretation of this result is that evaluation of conditioned reinforcement effectiveness was done under an acquisition procedure, that could be, also, impaired. To evaluate this ambiguity, an experiment comparing acquisition of an operant behavior by SHR, Wistar Kyoto and Wistar rats was proposed. In the experiment subjects (N=7, for each group) were submitted to an acquisition procedure for 30 sessions, in which lever presses were followed by a food pellet. Preliminary repeated measures ANOVA, considering only SHR and Wistar lineages, indicated an interaction between group and session factors [F(29,330)=1.598; p<0.05]. These results are interpreted as impaired acquisition by SHR when compared to Wistar, WKY must still be evaluated.

 
15. Appetitive Conditioning in the Orange Head Cockroach (Eublaberus posticus)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Erandy Barrera (Converse College), Isobel Wilkes (Converse College), CHRISTOPHER ALLEN VARNON (Converse College)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract: This poster describes appetitive conditioning experiments with the orange head cockroach (Eublaberus posticus). While many invertebrate subjects are available, cockroaches have several benefits over other species that show impressive behavioral abilities, such as bees. Most notably, cockroaches are generalists that can be maintained in controlled indoor conditions while bees are highly specialized and many species must be kept outdoors. We believe the generalist nature of cockroaches facilitates the development of robust procedures. In the first experiment, we investigated the ability of cockroaches to associate novel odors with appetitive and aversive solutions. We found cockroaches learned to approach odors that were associated with a dog food sucrose solution, and also learned to avoided odors associated with salt water. The second experiment repeated these methods, but also tested for preferences between conditioned odors across several retention periods, from 15 minutes to one day after the conditioning procedure ended. We found that performance peaked 45 minutes after training then decreased as a function of time. Our work is the first to show associative conditioning in orange head cockroaches. Future work will explore additional conditioning procedures as well as include biological assays or manipulations.
 
16.

Eye-Tracking Analysis: Fixation from Comparison to Sample Stimuli in Matching to Sample Procedures With Meaningful Stimuli

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LIVE FAY BRAATEN (Oslo Metropolitan University), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract:

Including one meaningful stimulus in a class of abstract stimuli in matching-to-sample (MTS) procedures increases the probability of equivalence class responding. Some research has shown a positive effect, even including multiple meaningful stimuli in a class. Eye-tracking technology can investigate fixation duration and frequency to stimuli in the MTS procedure. In the present experiment employing simultaneous MTS procedures, participants are presented with the sample stimuli when responding to comparison stimuli and can gaze back at the sample stimulus multiple times before responding. This poster seeks to investigate how the inclusion of one, many, or none meaningful stimuli with abstract stimuli would affect participants’ eye-movements regarding whether they fixate from comparison to sample stimuli. Three groups were taught 12 conditional discriminations, learning three 5-member classes, in a one-to-many training structure. Twenty-three adults participated in the experiment. Results show that the groups trained on meaningful stimuli in each class had a considerably lower percentage of trials where gaze went back to sample compared with the two other groups, which had similar results. This difference was not apparent in training. There were no differences between BSL and SYM trials for the group with few meaningful stimuli, but a slight increase in EQ trials.

 
Sustainability submission 17. Relationship Between Discounting and Climate Change Belief
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JUSTIN MYERS (Western Michigan University), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract: Climate change in the United States is often framed as an event that will occur in the future, probabilistically, and that will cause harm primarily to people elsewhere in the world. Some have argued that inaction on climate change may be the result of people’s tendency to devalue events that are delayed, probabilistic, and affecting other people. The present study sought to investigate whether concern about climate change is related to rates of delay, probability, and social discounting. Two experiments are investigating discounting and climate change using Amazon MTurk participants. Participants complete delay, probability, and social discounting questionnaires with hypothetical monetary gains and losses, and a climate change concern questionnaire. 118 participants have been recruited to date and were placed into groups based on whether they reported high concern (n = 90) or low concern (n = 28) for climate change. Preliminary data suggests that delayed gains and probabilistic losses were discounted more heavily among low concern individuals. These data may help identify strategies to better motivate action on climate change.
 
18. Effects of Chlordiazepoxide on Pausing During Rich-to-Lean Transitions
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ELIZABETH PAIGE THUMAN (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jeremy Langford (West Virginia University), Sydney Batchelder (University of North Carolina Wilmington), David Austin Haste (Auburn University), Raymond C. Pitts (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract: Extended pausing during discriminable transitions from rich-to-lean conditions can be viewed as escape (i.e., rich-to-lean transitions function aversively). Thus, an anxiolytic drug would be predicted to mitigate the aversiveness and decrease pausing. In the current experiment, pigeons’ key pecking was maintained by a multiple fixed-ratio fixed-ratio schedule of rich (i.e., larger) or lean (i.e., smaller) reinforcers. Intermediate doses (3.0-10 mg/kg) of chlordiazepoxide differentially decreased median pauses during rich-to-lean transitions. Relatively small decreases in pauses occurred during lean-to-lean and rich-to-rich transitions. Effects of chlordiazepoxide on pausing occurred without appreciable effects on run rates. These findings suggest that signaled rich-to-lean transitions function aversively.
 
19. Rapid Demand Curves and Delay Discounting in the Pigeon
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MORGAN N DELONG (James Madison University), Kiley Madison Gagain (James Madison University), Peter Montwill (James Madison University), Luke Ferdinand Cortes (James Madison University ), Mona Al-Bizri (James Madison University), Marisa N Fujimoto (James Madison University), Daniel D. Holt (James Madison University)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract: Behaviorism with economics has aided descriptions and interpretations of behavior. Delay discounting, for one, has been found to be useful for furthering our understanding of how the value of a commodity is affected by the delay until its receipt. Demand functions, for another, have shown the relation between consumption of an outcome and its price. There were three aims of the present study: 1. Replicate and extend research on delay discounting; 2. Replicate and extend research of generation of demand functions; 3. Explore the potential relation between the degree of discounting and demand. Regarding Aims 1 and 2, we found pigeons' discounting of food (replication) and water (extension) to be well described by a hyperbolic function; and that demand curves revealed a clear relation between price and consumption. Concerning Aim 3, because the demand curves revealed very small differences for food and water it remains unclear what may be driving the observed differential rates of discounting (water was discounted less steeply than food). More research will be needed for a fuller understanding of “value” as it relates to discounting and demand functions.
 
Sustainability submission 20.

Relationship Between Delay Discounting and Screen Time

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida), TAYLOR RAAYMAKERS (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract:

Prior studies have demonstrated associations between maladaptive behavior (e.g., excessive drinking and gambling) and delay discounting. However, many studies related to delay discounting rely on indirect measures of behavior. In the present study, a direct measure of screen time usage was compared to results of a delay discounting. Preliminary results suggest Individuals who spend excessive amounts of time mobile devices may be more likely to discount future rewards than their peers.

 
21.

Force Adaptation:The Effects of Feedback on Subcriterion Responses

Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
NINA DELL'AERA-JACHYM (Western New England University), Jonathan W. Pinkston (Western New England University)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract:

Learning entails an adaptation to prevailing response requirements. Brief stimuli are often arranged to accompany criterion responses and may facilitate the emergence of novel behavior to meet new contingencies. When rats and humans respond under conditions of varying force requirements, response topographies contain a mixture of responses that meet the new criterion as well as a number of “subcriterion” responses that fail to meet the criterion. The present study asked if additional exteroceptive feedback would (1) hasten the emergence of criterion behavior and (2) reduce the amount of subcriterion responding. A two-component schedule was arranged. In one component, rats learned a two-response sequence under conditions of increasing force requirements. Each response that met the requirement was accompanied by a brief feedback tone. The second component arranged the same force criteria, but no feedback accompanied responding. Increasing the force requirement produced a rapid adjustment of force and induced a population of subcriterion responses, but in no case did the arranged feedback facilitate performance or reduce subcriterion behavior. In this case, arranging feedback did not assist learning. It may be possible that the brief tone was not a conditioned reinforcer or that the animal’s own proprioceptive feedback was a much more potent signal that overshadowed the exteroceptive stimuli.

 
22. Does Preference Obey the Law of Least Effort?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JONATHAN W. PINKSTON (Western New England University), Thomas Carpenter (Western New England University), Lara DePaoli (Western New England University), Nina Dell'Aera-Jachym (Western New England University)
Discussant: Kenneth David Madrigal Alcaraz (Universidad de Guadalajara - CEIC)
Abstract: The Law of Least Effort indicates that animals and humans will prefer a less effortful option over a more effortful one, all else being equal. In truth, little research has examined choice for more or less effort. In a recent paper (Andrews & Zentall, 2019), pigeons earned food on a concurrent chains procedure. One terminal link arranged food according to a fixed-interval (FI) schedule – thus requiring a single response to produce food; the alternative produced food according to an equal-valued differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior schedule (DRO), which required the abstinence of responding. About half of the pigeons preferred the DRO schedule; the other half showed no preference. A general preference for less work did not emerge. The purpose of the present study was to take a closer examination of preference under different degrees of work. Rats earned food on a concurrent chains schedule. Responding on either of two variable-interval 10-s schedules produced entry into terminal links. One terminal link, the High Work Option, arranged for food delivery according to a FI 1-s schedule. To satisfy the schedule, rats were required to hold the lever for varying amounts of time ranging from 0.1 – 1.6 s. The other link, the Low Work Option, arranged for food delivery according to an FI X-s schedule. Here, the work duration was fixed at 0.1-s and the value of “X” was yoked to the most recent values obtained in the High Work Option. So, the two options differed only in response work requirement. Under these conditions, no preference for greater or less work emerged. Additional conditions with greater work values are ongoing and will be discussed.
 
 

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