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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #51
CE Offered: BACB
Basic and Translational Research of Variables That Contribute to Resurgence
Saturday, May 25, 2024
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Convention Center, 200 Level, 201 C
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Carla N Martinez-Perez (University of Florida)
Discussant: Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D.

Resurgence is the recurrence of previously extinguished target response following a worsening of conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative response following differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Laboratory studies of resurgence examine the behavioral processes that contribute to relapse and provide further insight into this phenomenon. This symposium includes four presentations: First, Rodolfo Bernal-Gamboa will present data from a novel study demonstrating resurgence on domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Next, Julian Velasquez and Matias Avellaneda will present data from two different studies with rats examining the effects of parameters of alternative-response reinforcement on resurgence. These include (1) multiple alternative responses with different topography (Velasquez), and (2) different qualities of alternative reinforcement (Avellaneda). Finally, Carla Martinez-Perez will provide a quantitative examination of the effects of rapid and repeated contingency reversals on resurgence using crowdsourcing. Theoretical and clinical implications will also be discussed throughout the presentations. The symposium will close with a discussion from Dr. Sarah E. Bloom.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): human, non-human, relapse, resurgence
Target Audience:

The audience should have basic knowledge of (1) the study of resurgence, and/or (2) quantitative modeling of behavioral data. Researchers and clinicians are welcome.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify variations of resurgence in the lab; (2) describe the methods used to analyze resurgence; and (3) provide explanations of the use of quantitative modeling in resurgence research

Resurgence After Extinction of an Instrumental Behavior in Dogs (Canis Lupus Familiaris)

RODOLFO BERNAL-GAMBOA (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

One well-known example of reoccurrence of extinguished responses is resurgence. Although resurgence has been studied in different laboratory animals (e. g., rats, pigeons), as far as the authors know, it has not been systematically studied with domestic animals. Thus, the main goal of the present experiment was to explore whether resurgence can be found in dogs. An experimental apparatus was built to test domestic dogs in their homes. Therefore, during the initial phase (Phase 1) one response was reinforced (target response). Then, in the following phase (Phase 2) the target response was placed in extinction while simultaneously an alternative response was reinforced. Finally, during the Test Phase no reinforcement was available for either behavior. The number of occurrences of the target response were measured as resurgence. The results of this experiment indicated an increase of the target response during testing, suggesting that resurgence can be observed in domestic dogs. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

Resurgence Following Higher or Lower Quality Alternative Reinforcement
MATIAS ALEJANDRO AVELLANEDA (Utah State University), Timothy A. Shahan (Utah State University), Gabrielle Marie-Anne Sutton (Utah State University), Jack Van Allsburg (Utah State University), Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Abstract: Resurgence is a temporary increase in a previously suppressed target behavior following a worsening in conditions for a more recently reinforced alternative behavior. Previous studies have examined how higher rates or magnitudes of alternative reinforcement affect suppression of the target behavior and subsequent resurgence. However, there has been no investigation of the effects of higher versus lower qualities of alternative reinforcement on resurgence. Using a three-phase resurgence preparation with rats, the present experiments examined the effects of an alternative reinforcer that was of higher (Experiment 1) or lower (Experiment 2) quality than the reinforcer that had previously maintained the target behavior. Results of both experiments showed greater reductions in target behavior with a higher quality alternative reinforcer and more target responding when a higher quality alternative reinforcer was removed. Along with prior findings with higher rates and magnitudes of alternative reinforcement, these findings suggest that variations in reinforcer dimensions that increase the efficacy of alternative reinforcement also tend to increase resurgence when alternative reinforcement is removed. Results are discussed in terms of the Resurgence as Choice in Context model and in terms of potential clinical implications.

Effects of Multiple Alternative Responses With Different Topographies on Resurgence: An Approach of Expanded-Operant Treatments

JULIAN CAMILO VELASQUEZ (University of Guadalajara), Carlos Javier Flores Aguirre (Universidad de Guadalajara), L. Rebeca Mateos Morfin (Universidad de Guadalajara)

Resurgence is the recurrence of previous reinforced behavior by the worsening of current alternative conditions (Lattal, 2017). While some studies have suggested that operant-expanded treatments might reduce resurgence, inconsistent findings warrant further investigation. Mixed results could be explained by attending to the type of training or the response topographies. In this study, we aimed to explore the effect of different types of multiple alternative training on resurgence when each response had different topographies. Following reinforcement of the target response (i.e., chain-pull), three groups of rats were exposed to different alternative-response training procedures. For the within-session training group, two alternating alternative responses (i.e., lever-press and key-push) were reinforced across each session. For the between-conditions training group, each alternative was reinforced across separate conditions. For Single training group, only one alternative was reinforced. Once alternative reinforcement was removed, Single group exhibited greater resurgence, while Between-Conditions group showed reduced resurgence. Within-session training group did not show resurgence. The results of this study shed light of the effects of training multiple alternative responses as an approach to reduce resurgence. These findings might have implications in clinical settings for the design of successful behavioral interventions for the promotion of durable outcomes despite of treatment challenges.


A Quantitative Examination of the Effects of Rapid and Repeated Contingency Reversals on Resurgence

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

Behavioral flexibility is a general term referring to adaptations that promote survival under the pressure of changes in the environment. Accordingly, one approach to evaluating behavioral flexibility is to examine operant-choice behavior under shifting consequences, such as when reinforcement contingencies reverse. A related effect demonstrating behavioral flexibility during changes in reinforcement contingencies is the resurgence of a previously reinforced behavior during extinction. We examined whether manipulations of repeated reinforcement-contingency reversals affect resurgence and whether the theoretical framework of Resurgence as Choice can account for the results. Preliminary analyses suggest greater target-response rates in groups arranging no reversals during Phase 1 (Late, Control), and faster decreases in groups arranging extinction of target reinforcement during Phase 2 (Early, Control). Furthermore, resurgence occurs across all groups, with greater resurgence observed for groups Early and Control, and less resurgence in groups that had repeated contingency reversals during Phase 2 (Late, Constant). The results of this study are discussed considering the Resurgence of Choice framework and we provide further insight into both clinical relapse and behavioral flexibility.




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