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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #356
CE Offered: BACB
Resurgence and Changes in Alternative Response Consequence Parameters
Monday, May 29, 2023
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom B
Area: EAB/DDA; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Justin Boyan Han (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Wayne W. Fisher (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
CE Instructor: Justin Boyan Han, M.S.
Abstract: Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously reinforced response (e.g., problem behavior) when conditions of reinforcement are weakened for a more recently reinforced response (e.g., replacement behavior). The importance of research on relapse, more specifically resurgence, applies to assessment and treatment of problem behaviors in the clinical setting because resurgence is prevalent even in highly controlled in-patient settings. Better understanding of resurgence can set a strong foundation for mitigation and control of resurgence in applied context. This symposium includes current research on extinction and resurgence when consequences for alternative response are altered in basic, translational, and applied settings. One presentation examines the effects of reinforcement schedule change for alternative response on resurgence between groups of mice. One presentation includes a parametric analysis of punishment for alternative response with human participants through MTurk crowdsourcing. One presentation examines the concurrent resurgence of an arbitrary response after change in reinforcer quality with college students. And one presentation examines mitigation of resurgence for problem behaviors during and after functional communications training. Additionally, Dr. Wayne Fisher, a distinguished researcher on assessment and treatment of problem behavior, will discuss the relevance of the findings as they relate to future basic, translational, and applied studies.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): FCT, Problem Behavior, Reinforcement Parameter, Resurgence
Target Audience: Advanced. Audience members must have basic understanding of concurrent schedule, treatment of problem behavior, and extinction procedures.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify factors that affect resurgence of previously suppressed behaviors; (2) identify the influences of consequences for alternative response that effects resurgence; (3) identify factors that can assist with controlling for and mitigating resurgence in applied settings.

Alternative-Reinforcer Rate Effects on Resurgence Across Successive Determinations in Mice

BEATRIZ ELENA ARROYO ANTUNEZ (SUNY Upstate Medical University), William Sullivan (Golisano Children's Hospital & Center for Special Needs; SUNY Upstate Medical University), Kate Elizabeth Derrenbacker (Upstate Cerebral Palsy), Charlene Nicole Agnew (Proud Moments ABA), Henry S. Roane (Upstate Medical University and Elemy Autism Care), Andrew R. Craig (SUNY Upstate Medical University)

In the treatment of problematic human behavior, differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is commonly employed. To increase the feasibility of implementation in the natural environment rates of alternative reinforcement are often thinned, which may occasion resurgence of the target behavior. Previous research has shown that high-rate alternative reinforcers produce more rapid suppression of the target behavior, relative to low-rate alternative reinforcers, but also occasion more resurgence. The current experiment systematically replicated this work with mouse subjects to assess for cross-species generality. Additionally, we alternated between phases of DRA and extinction to assess for changes in resurgence across successive determinations. Outcomes aligned with past work by demonstrating that high-rate alternative reinforcers produced more rapid reductions of the target behavior and higher magnitudes of resurgence, compared to low-rate alternative reinforcers, in mice. Between-group differences in resurgence, however, diminished across resurgence tests. This results help to extend previous findings regarding the reappearance of problematic behavior.


A Parametric Analysis of Response-Cost Punishment of Alternative Behavior in Humans

CARLA N MARTINEZ-PEREZ (University of Florida), Carolyn Ritchey (Auburn University), Toshikazu Kuroda (Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International), Christopher A. Podlesnik (University of Florida)

Resurgence generally is considered the return of a previously reinforced and extinguished target response when alternative conditions worsen. Previous research with rats showed that worsening alternative conditions by punishing an alternative response with shock resulted in resurgence of target responding. We extended this line of research with four groups of humans recruited through crowdsourcing, with approximately 50 participants per group. In Phase 1, we reinforced target responding with points exchangeable for money while an alternative response was not reinforced. In Phase 2, we extinguished target responding while reinforcing the alternative response and responding reversed compared with Phase 1. In Phase 3, we parametrically manipulated magnitude of point loss (-1, -100, -320, -1000) contingent on alternative responding while maintaining alternative reinforcement. We found more rapid punishment effects and greater resurgence with greater magnitudes of response cost. These findings extend those with nonhumans to indicate resurgence generally is a function of the worsening of alternative conditions.


Concurrent Resurgence and Influences of Reinforcement Quality With College Students

JESENIA GIAMBRONE (ABA Solutions, Inc.), Justin Boyan Han (University of South Florida), Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida), Amalix M Flores (USF), Joseph Michael Lambert (Vanderbilt University)

Resurgence is the recurrence of a previously reinforced response when conditions of reinforcement are weakened for a more recently reinforced response. With the updated definition differential reinforcement of alternative behavior, in conjunction with the discussions on the implications of extinction procedures, more research is needed on the resurgence when a behavior suppressed by changes in consequence parameters instead of extinction. In the current study, college students were taught arbitrary responses to access high quality and low quality reinforcers on a variable-interval schedule. In phase 1, response A and B contacts high quality reinforcer. In phase 2, response A is extinguished and response B contacts low quality reinforcer. Additionally, response C (i.e., replacement behavior) is introduced and will contact high quality response. In phase 3, all responses are placed on extinction. Comparison of resurgence in phase 3 for response A and response B suggests that level and order of resurgence varied across participants. Implications from our findings and procedures will be discussed.

Resurgence of Problem Behavior Following Enhancements During Functional Communication Training
KELLY M. SCHIELTZ (University of Iowa), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia), Matthew O'Brien (The University of Iowa), Karla Zabala-Snow (University of Georgia; Emory University; Marcus Autism Center)
Abstract: Mitigating the resurgence of problem behavior has become an important clinical issue, resulting in evaluations that focus on the effects of environmental manipulations of various dimensions of reinforcement, discriminative stimuli, exposures to extinction, among others. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the resurgence of problem behavior following enhancements to the dimensions of reinforcement for independent manding during functional communication training (FCT). During FCT, high and low preferred mands were trained using a multiple schedule. In two of the three conditions, the high and low preferred mands were trained as usual, while the third condition trained and enhanced the reinforcement history for the low preferred mand by manipulating one dimension of reinforcement (i.e., reinforcer rate, reinforcer magnitude) to three times the exposure in the training as usual condition. When problem behavior was reduced by 80% of baseline levels, independent manding occurred across 80% of opportunities, and reinforcement rates occurred within 10% of programmed conditions during FCT, treatment was disrupted with extinction. Across enhancement manipulations, results were equivocal with one participant showing no resurgence of problem behavior in the enhanced condition and another participant showing resurgence of problem behavior across all conditions. Implications of these findings will be discussed.



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