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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Paper Session #55
Schedule Effects II
Saturday, May 26, 2012
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
609 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Robert W. Allan (Lafayette College)

Parameter Variations in a Concomitant CFT VI Schedule

Domain: Basic Research
RUSTY NALL (Jacksonville State University), SuPhronia Guinn (Jacksonville State University), William L. Palya (Jacksonville State University)

Palyas bipolar model predicts both an initial negative gradient as well as a terminal positive gradient across a fixed temporal interval. The initial demonstration of the bipolar effect was on observing behavior to a fixed interfood clock (CFT) schedule with an added concomitant variable interval (VI) schedule (Palya, 1993). The present research used what was in effect a chronic summation test across 42 groups to assess the effect of 9 different VI/CFT ratios on the key-pecking directly maintained by the concomitant schedule itself. In general, across all ratios the clock stimuli modulated the response rate across the fixed interfood interval even though VI reinforcers occurred at an equal rate throughout the entire interfood clock and could occur during any clock stimulus. Experiment I consisted of 2 phases. Phase 1 implemented ratios from (1/8) to (2) across birds. Phase 2 changed the range to (1/4) to (4). Experiment II varied the ratios from (1/4) to (8) and subsequently from (1) to (32). Results showed a greater suppression of first half behavior at higher ratios and the highest second half response rate between ratios of (4) and (8).


Post- or Pre-Reinforcement Pausing? The PRP in Variable Ratio Schedules

Domain: Basic Research
ROBERT W. ALLAN (Lafayette College), Joshua L. Lipschultz (Lafayette College), Erin L. McIntyre (Lafayette College)

The state of the art in examining the post-reinforcement pause (PRP) has been the selection of 4 to 5 fixed ratio (FR) or fixed interval (FI) schedules with pigeons responding to stability. Pausing is then measured and plotted as a function of FR or FI value. The present work examined PRP in variable ratio schedules using a response counter in predictable or unpredictable conditions. The results suggest a new conceptualization of the PRP based on the predictability of the upcoming response demand. In addition, the study yielded new data regarded a breakpoint for the PRP.


Causal Attribution to Temporally Distant Events in Pigeons: Effects of Signal and Its Associated Variables

Domain: Basic Research
TOSHIKAZU KURODA (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)

We investigated the effects of signals on causal attribution to a temporally distant event, using pigeons exposed to a conditional discrimination procedure. During a sample component, a variable-interval schedule was assigned to 1 of 2 side keys, both transilluminated the same color. Completing the schedule requirement initiated a delay period, followed by a choice component in which reinforcement required that the pigeon selected the choice key corresponding to the side key on which a response started the delay. In Experiment 1, in different conditions, both side keys changed to a different color for the entire delay (full signal) or not at all (unsignaled). Discrimination accuracy was higher for the full signal and generally decreased as a function of delay value. In Experiment 2, the key-color change occurred for the entire delay or only for the first 1-s period (partial signal). The partial signal was either less or as effective as the full signal. The experiment currently is being extended by manipulating the location within delays that is signaled.


Error Reduction During Acquisition of Matching-to-Sample

Domain: Basic Research
JAMES S. MACDONALL (Fordham University), Jaime Tanner (Fordham University)

Humans, like pigeons, tend to make errors while learning simple and complex discriminations. Errors are particularly problematic for humans recovering from strokes and re-learning language. These errors cause frustration and aggressive behavior that disrupts rehabilitation. An aspect of language rehabilitation resembles a matching-to-sample procedure. Last year I reported on an experiment designed to reduce errors when learning matching-to-sample tasks. In a single-subjects design, pigeons pecked the sample, which presented the comparisons. Pecking the correct comparison was reinforced. Errors were reduced by presenting the incorrect comparison very briefly and gradually increased how long it was present. In that experiment, 10 pecks at the sample were required to produce the comparisons and there was a variable 30 sec intertrial interval. In control conditions pigeons made 53-208 errors during acquisition and in the experimental condition they made 3-50 errors during acquisition. Within-subject comparisons showed large differences in errors between conditions. The present experiment used procedures that are expected to increase the errors in the control condition: 1 peck to the sample produced the comparisons and the intertrial interval was 5 sec. In control conditions pigeons made 393-431 errors and in the experimental condition they made 0-6 errors. Additional data is being collected from these 4 pigeons.




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