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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Poster Session #423
BPH Monday evening poster session
Monday, May 28, 2012
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. Induction of Alcohol Self-Administration in Rats: A Replication and Extension of Simms Et Al., 2010
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
RACHEL N. CASSIDY (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: Simms et al. (2010) reported a novel method of inducing alcohol self-administration in rats that did not necessitate a confounding sucrose fading procedure. We sought to replicate and extend this finding to determine if discriminated responding for ethanol could be obtained. Twelve experimentally nave rats were exposed to 13 nonconsecutive 14-hour overnight sessions in which a lever press resulted in the delivery of a dipper of 0.1 mL of 20% ethanol solution. As per Simms et al. (2010), lever pressing was not explicitly trained or shaped. Five rats consistently responded for ethanol following this procedure. The five successful rats response patterns showed an accelerating trend across sessions in obtained ethanol reinforcers. These five subjects were then exposed to daily 1-hr sessions in which ethanol was available on a fixed ratio 1 (FR1) schedule. Then, subjects were exposed to a mixed VI-15s EXT schedule of ethanol reinforcement, and four out of five rats showed evidence of discrimination. The present experiment provides further evidence that the procedure developed by Simms et al. (2010) can be used successfully to induce pure alcohol self-administration in rats; however, the variables contributing to the success of the procedure in some animals, and its failure in most subjects, are unclear.
2. A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Operant Ethanol and Nicotine Self-Administration in Alcohol-Preferring Rats
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Ashley Silakoski (The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey), KRISTEN COMERFORD (The College of New Jersey), Hanna Berman (The College of New Jersey), Maegan Boutot (The College of New Jersey), Kristina Esopo (The College of New Jersey), Ralph Spiga (Institute for Behavior Resources, Inc.), Margaret P. Martinetti (The College of New Jersey)
Abstract: The current study addressed the behavioral economic interactions between ethanol and nicotine in a genetic animal model of alcohol preference. P rats lever-press responses were reinforced with ethanol or nicotine solutions and the price of each solution was manipulated by increasing the FR values for each drug. First, the price of each drug solution was increased from FR4 to FR64 while the other drug was offered concurrently on an FR4 schedule. Then, the price of each drug solution was increased with a 1% sucrose (vehicle) solution concurrently available. Across all conditions, as the price of a drug increased, the consumption of that drug decreased. Demand for ethanol was more inelastic than demand for nicotine when both drugs were offered alone and concurrently. Additionally, the essential value (Hursh & Silberberg, 2008) of ethanol was greater than the essential value of nicotine in both conditions; however, the essential values were unchanged by the concurrent availability of the other drug. These findings suggest that ethanol is a more efficacious reinforcer than nicotine in a genetic animal model of alcohol preference.
3. Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Motor Impairment in Ethanol-Intoxicated Male and Female Dwarf Hamsters
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
ALYSSA HOSKIE (University of Alaska Anchorage), Christa Eussen (University of Alaska Anchorage), Dayana Lau (University of Alaska Anchorage), Gwen Lupfer-Johnson (University of Alaska Anchorage), Ian van Tets (University of Alaska Anchorage)
Abstract: Twelve adult male and twelve adult female Phodopus campbelli dwarf hamsters were administered 2.5 g/kg ethanol doses, and motor impairment was quantified using the Metten and colleagues (2004) Wobble and Splay scale. Hamster subjects were also administered a 3.25 g/kg dose in order to measure the duration of ethanol-induced loss of the righting reflex (LORR). Finally, subjects were sacrificed and hepatic alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity was calculated spectrophotometrically by measuring the rate of NADH/H+ production at 340nm. No significant sex differences were found in behavioral sensitivity to ethanol. ADH activity was marginally higher in male subjects compared to female subjects. ADH activity accounted for much (i.e., approximately 78 percent) of the variance in behavioral sensitivity to ethanol in female subjects. However, ADH was unrelated to motor impairment or to LORR in male subjects. The possibility that male and female hamsters may have evolved different mechanisms of ethanol tolerance is discussed.
4. The Team Recovery Program: Initial Findings of a Group Contingency Intervention for Cocaine Abstinence
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
Mary Louise E. Kerwin (Rowan University), BRIAN VERSEK (Treatment Research Institute), Yukiko Washio (Treatment Research Institute), Kimberly C. Kirby (Treatment Research Institute)
Abstract: Contingency management (CM) is one of the most efficacious interventions for achieving cocaine abstinence, but is rarely implemented in community settings where most services are offered in group sessions. In an attempt to adapt CM to group sessions, we explored several different group-based CM (GCM) interventions for cocaine abstinence. One of these was the Team Recovery Program (TRP), which was modeled after the Good Behavior Game, an effective classroom behavior management strategy. Adult Methadone outpatients with and without cocaine use history (N=10) were assigned to one of the two teams heterogeneous in baseline cocaine abstinence. Voucher prizes were provided as reinforcers for aggregate team improvement in cocaine-abstinence based on urine samples. Findings indicate that those who reported frequent cocaine use during baseline showed large improvement (N=3; mean improvement % = 54%). Contrasting these findings, an almost equal percentage of group members (N=2) who reported no cocaine use during baseline showed an increase in positive samples during the intervention period; however, secondary analyses found evidence that cocaine lapse usually happened on the last urine submission days of a week. Although further investigation is warranted, it appears that TRP may be efficacious in treating regular cocaine users but not preventive in initiating cocaine use among Methadone outpatients.
5. Rimonabant Differentially Affects Delay Discounting in Lean and Obese Zucker Rats
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
STEVEN BOOMHOWER (Idaho State University), Tiffany Doherty (Idaho State University), Misty Strain (Idaho State University), Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Abstract: The endocannabinoid neurotransmitter system has been implicated in many behavioral processes. Few studies, however, have examined the effects of cannabinoid drugs on choice for delayed food, especially in the context of obesity. This study examined the effects of rimonabant, a CB1 antagonist, on delay discounting in lean (n=10) and obese (n=10) Zucker rats using an adjusting delay procedure. Rats chose between one lever that resulted in one pellet after a standard delay (either 1 s or 5 s in two separate conditions) and a second lever that resulted in two pellets after an adjusting delay. After behavior stabilized under baseline, rimonabant (0, 1, 3, and 10 mg/kg) was administered i.p. one hour prior to choice sessions. In the standard delay 1 s condition, obese rats’ adjusting delays were significantly higher compared to vehicle under the 1 mg/kg dose, whereas the lean rats’ adjusting delays were significantly lower compared to vehicle. In the standard delay 5 s condition, obese rats’ adjusting delays were significantly higher compared to vehicle under the 10 mg/kg dose. Therefore, it appears that rimonabant may differentially affect delay discounting in lean and obese rats depending on the choice situation.
6. Devaluation of Food Context by Extinction Plus a Dopamine Receptor Blocker Results in Delayed Reacquisition of Food Self-Administration in Rats
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
JON KOERBER (Western Washington University), David Goodman (Western Washington University), Jesse Barnes (Western Washington University), Kindsey North (Western Washington University), Stefan Collins (Western Washington University), Rachel Weber (Western Washington University), Jeff Grimm (Western Washington University)
Abstract: Dopamine receptors are implicated in the primary and secondary reinforcing effects of food and drug reinforcement. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether blocking D2 dopamine receptors during extinction (secondary reinforcement) would affect reacquisition of responding for food pellets (primary reinforcement). Food restricted rats self-administered (FR1) food pellets in 1-h daily sessions for seven days. For the next seven days rats responded in extinction conditions. Prior to each daily extinction session rats were injected with saline or the dopamine D2 antagonist eticlopride (0.03 mg/kg, SC). After the extinction phase, rats were allowed to reacquire food pellet self-administration in seven daily sessions. Rats received saline or eticlopride prior to each session such that four treatment groups were represented: saline extinction, saline reacquisition; eticlopride extinction, saline reacquisition; saline extinction, eticlopride reacquisition; eticlopride extinction, eticlopride reacquisition. Eticlopride decreased lever pressing on the first day of extinction compared to saline-treated rats. There was also an overall acceleration of extinction in eticlopride-treated rats. Eticlopride delayed reacquisition of food self-administration compared to saline-treated rats, although eticlopride-treated rats responded for similar numbers of food pellets by the fifth day of reacquisition. Locomotor activity did not differ between eticlopride-treated and saline-treated rats throughout the study. Interestingly, rats administered eticlopride during extinction showed delayed reacquisition and a decreased overall response rate for food regardless of whether they receiving eticlopride during the reacquisition phase. These results support a role for dopamine D2 receptors not only in the primary reinforcing effects of a food, but in the association of food reinforcement with environmental context. Specifically, memory of a D2 antagonist-devalued food context carried over as a persistent devaluation of primary food reinforcement even though food pellets were never explicitly paired with D2 antagonist. Indirectly devaluing a reinforcer in this way may provide a novel approach for reducing food or drug self-administration behavior relevant to addiction.



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