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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Poster Session #205
#207 Poster Session (BPH)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
45. Participation by Women as Authors in Psychopharmacology.
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
KELLY BRADLEY (Western Michigan University), Amy Durgin (Western Michigan University), Lindsay Porter (Western Michigan University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Past research has shown that men have appeared as authors far more frequently than women in both behavior analysis and organizational behavior management. To determine if the same is true in psychopharmacology, we examined women's participation as authors (first and other) of articles published in Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior; Clinical and Experimental Psychopharmacology; and Psychopharmacology in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006. Women's participation as members of editorial boards also was determined for these years. Results indicate that women are under-represented in psychopharmacology, as they are in other areas where data are available.
46. Are Psychotropic Medications Effective in Reducing Problem Behaviors?
Area: BPH; Domain: Service Delivery
THELMISHA VINCENT (Judge Rotenberg Center), Kelly R. Ilsley (Judge Rotenberg Center), Matthew L. Israel (Judge Rotenberg Center)
Abstract: Psychotropic medications are widely used in community, residential and hospital settings as primary interventions for behavior problems, despite few empirical evaluations of their effectiveness. These “behavior problems” include severe aggression, disruptive, and health dangerous behavior. This study questions the ability of psychotropic medications to reduce the frequency of these problem behaviors in a number of students who were on at least one psychotropic medication upon their admission to the Judge Rotenberg Center. Data will be presented in the form of standard celeration charts showing psychotropic medication reduction/elimination and correlated behavioral effects.
47. The Effects of Scopolamine on the Completion of an “Insight” Task in Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
BECKY LYNN HANSIS-O'NEILL (Idaho State University), Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University)
Abstract: Although “insight” behavior has been used to support cognitive theories, the explanations provided by behavior analysts such as Epstein are more parsimonious in nature. This study will replicate the classic Kohler study and extend the results from Epstein’s pigeon replication to a rat model. It will also examine the effects of the anti-cholinergic drug, scopolamine (disrupts learning and memory), on the subject’s ability to demonstrate “insightful” behavior. The subjects are 7 female Sprague Dawley rats. Each rat will be shaped to complete three individual behaviors (order is randomly determined): push a box to a specified location, climb on top of the box, and touch a small target. In a single test condition, in which the target cannot be touched (extinction), and the block is placed away from the target, the degree to which these three behaviors “spontaneously” come together will be tested. Ten minutes before the test session subjects will be given an i.p. injection of saline or scopolamine (10.0mg/kg). It is expected that scopolamine will disrupt the rats’ ability to display insightful behavior, i.e, the drug will prevent the three repertoires from being performed together.
48. Discriminative-Stimulus and Time-Course Effects of Kava-Kava (Piper Methysticum) in Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
NATALIE ROSE BRUNER (West Virginia University), Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The discriminative-stimulus effects of kava, an herbal product often used to treat anxiety, are relatively unknown, but there is reason to believe that it may share properties with benzodiazepines like chlordiazepoxide (CDP). Shared discriminative-stimulus effects might suggest that kava shares other effects of anxiolytics such as abuse potential. During training, Sprague Dawley rats received food according to an FR-10 schedule on one of two levers, which was deemed the stimulus-appropriate (correct) lever. One group (n = 8) was trained to discriminate a relatively low dose of CDP (5.6 mg/kg, i.p.) from saline, and one group (n = 8) was trained to discriminate a higher dose of CDP (13.0 mg/kg, i.p.) from saline. Training was complete following at least 24 sessions and a minimum of 80% correct lever presses before the delivery of the first food pellet for five consecutive sessions. Substitution tests of kava (0 - 300 mg/kg), CDP (0 – 13.0 mg/kg) and a negative control (d-amphetamine, 0 – 1.0 mg/kg) were conducted in extinction at 60 min and 90 min following administration (p.o.) of the test drug. Generalization gradients and median effective doses (ED50s) for each drug at the two testing times are presented.
49. Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Fluoxetine on Spatial Learning and Memory in Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
CAROLYN SACHSE (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Recent research with rats has shown that in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) results in a behavioral syndrome known as neonatal antidepressant exposure syndrome (NADES). The present study examined the relationship between prenatal exposure to a common SSRI, and spatial learning and memory. Three pregnant rat dams were injected with saline, 5mg/kg fluoxetine, or 15 mg/kg fluoxetine on post-conception (PC) days 9, 10, and 11. Six female pups from each litter (n = 18) were subjected to a Morris Water Maze (MWM) between post-natal weeks 10 and 12. Each rat was subjected to the MWM four times each day for four consecutive days. Average swim times for each day were analyzed using a two factor, one-way, repeated-measures ANOVA. Subjects did not show any deficits. Results suggest that rats exposed in utero to fluoxetine, on PC days 9, 10, and 11 do not display lasting spatial learning and memory deficits.
50. Effects of Mefloquine Hydrochloride on NMDA- and Kainate - Induced Drinking in Sprague-Dawley Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
SARAH SNIDER (Allegheny College)
Abstract: Two experiments studied the dipsogenic effects in rats when two similar glutamate agonists, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and Kainate, were given. In the first experiment, dose-response determinations for NMDA were conducted. The NMDA was administered in both 30 minute and 1 hour pretreatment times at 3.0, 10.0, 17.0, and 30.0 mg/kg. NMDA (17.0 mg/kg) and PCP (1.0 mg/kg) as well as NMDA (17.0 mg/kg) and Mefloquine Hydrochloride (1.7 mg/kg) were then administered concomitantly. Mefloquine Hydrochloride has been shown to cause psychotic effects in patients similar to that of PCP. It is hypothesized that Mefloquine produces similar dipsogenic antagonism as PCP does. The results indicated that NMDA did cause a significant dipsogenic effect at a pretreatment time of 30 minutes. The concomitant administrations of mefloquin marginally antagonized the NMDA-induced drinking. Kainate (1.0, 1.7, 3.0 mg/kg) was administered to rats to determine if it will produce a drinking resaponse. Data for dose-response relations were gathered for 0 and 30 minute pre-treatment times. Kainate, administered at 0 minutes pretreatment time, produced a moderate increase in drinking at the 1.0 mg/kg dose. Higher doses did not substantially increase the drinking response.
51. The Effects of Valerian Root on Anxiety in an Animal Model Using the Elevated Plus Maze.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
NICOLE A. CAPIK (James Madison University), Stephen H. Robertson (James Madison University), Sherry L. Serdikoff (James Madison University)
Abstract: The Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) is an apparatus commonly used to measure anxiety in animal models. The EPM has two open, exposed arms, perpendicular to two closed arms, and a center platform, all raised above the floor. Open-arm avoidance/escape is measured as an index of anxiety and research has demonstrated that this measure is sensitive to the effects of drugs with known anxiolytic and anxiogenic properties. Valerian (Valerian officinalis) is a neutraceutical commonly suggested and marketed for anxiety relief. Although Valerian is part of the growing and largely unregulated neutraceutical industry, it is a poorly researched drug. In the current study, rats are exposed to the EPM for 5 minutes following administration of Valerian and vehicle, in order to assess differences in performance. To the extent that rats make more entries into and spend more time in the open arms following administration of Valerian relative to vehicle, these data suggest that Valerian is effective in decreasing anxiety. Suggestions for further research investigating Valerian as a treatment for anxiety as well as additional work exploring other putative behavioral effects are explored.
52. Classical Conditioning of Antiepileptic Drug Effects: Failure of Metrozol to Produce Convulsions and the Production of Convulsions from the Withdrawal from Chronic Valproic Acid.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
MOLLY IRENE GUEST (Allegheny College)
Abstract: The present study examined both the possibility of conditioning seizure activity with metrozol (100 mg/kg) as well as determining the withdrawal effects of the anti-epileptic drug Valproic Acid (VPA) at doses ranging from 100 to 300 mg/kg/day. Data were collected from six adult female Sprague Dawley rats. Experiment 1 consisted of pairing the unconditional stimulus effects of metrazol with an auditory tone in a delayed conditioning procedure. Several pairings did not produce any discernable seizure activity suggesting that both epilepsy and pseudoepilepsy may not be produced by simple respondent conditioning. The second experiment investigated the potential for VPA to produce seizure activity by withdrawal from chronic exposure. Observations did not reveal any seizure activity during the chronic phase of the experiment. Following 21 days of chronic injections, VPA (100 – 300 mg/kg/day) was abruptly terminated. Seizure activity was first observed at 14 hours post drug termination. Only petit mal and clonic seizures were observed during the withdrawal period. Observations were made by videotape for 36 hours following drug termination.
53. Using d-amphetamine to Assess Strain Differences in Bout Parameters.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
JORDAN M. BAILEY (Auburn University), Joshua Johnson (Auburn University), M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
Abstract: BALB/c and C57BL/6 mouse strains are commonly used in behavioral research but have divergent behavioral profiles. C57BL/6 mice have been shown to run at higher rates than BALB/c mice: these strains also differ in dopamine activity. Therefore, the rate-decreasing effects of d-amphetamine administration should differentially affect species and response device. Shull’s (2001) model of partitioning response bouts was used to characterize d-amphetamine’s effect on response patterns. In the present study, mice nose-poked under a percentile schedule that reinforced short IRTs (high response rates) with sucrose with and without a running wheel available. Doses of amphetamine ranged from .3 mg/kg to 1.7 mg/kg. d-Amphetamine reduced nose-poking in a dose-related fashion for both strains when there was not a running wheel available. When a running wheel was available as an alternate reinforcer, nose-poking occurred at a lower rate but was insensitive to d-amphetamine. Strain differences were observed in within-bout response rate, bout initiation and bout length.
54. Reduced Sensitivity to the Locomotor Effects of Amphetamine in Hamsters Compared to Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
LESLIE M. WISE (Illinois State University), Valeri Farmer-Dougan (Illinois State University), Paul Garris (Illinois State University), Joseph Casto (Illinois State University)
Abstract: Amphetamine is an established dopaminergic agonist. However, recent evidence suggests that different species have different response courses to identical doses. In rats, low amphetamine doses increase locomotion, whereas high doses induce stereotypy. Hamsters, however, require higher doses to obtain similar behavioral effects. This reduced sensitivity may be related to the uniqueness of hamsters compared to other rodents. Interestingly, the hamster may provide a better model for DA-related disorders. Thus, the present study compared behavioral differences across rats and hamsters exposed to d-amphetamine. The behavioral effects, particularly ambulatory activity, were assessed. Each animal was habituated to the activity box for 30 min, and then received one of 4 doses of d-amphetamine (0.5, 1.5, 5.0 mg/kg i.p.) or a NaCl injection. The animal was returned to the activity box for 60 min, and behavior was recorded. Results showed that 0.5 mg/kg of amphetamine elicited the greatest ambulatory activity for rats, with higher doses attenuating locomotion. In contrast, the 5.0 mg/kg dose elicited the greatest increase in ambulatory activity in hamsters. These results confirm that hamsters are less sensitive to the locomotor effects of amphetamine than rats, and suggest different mechanisms of action on midbrain dopamine neurons across these two species.
55. Assessing the Putative Anxiolytic Effects of Chronic Kava Administration in Rats Using the Elevated Plus Maze (EPM).
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
STEPHEN H. ROBERTSON (James Madison University), Nicole A. Capik (James Madison University)
Abstract: The Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) consists of two open arms and two closed arms and is a popular rodent model of anxiety. Research has shown that the open spaces surrounding the open arms of the maze serve as the motivating operation for the open-arm escape/avoidance typically observed in this preparation. The anxiolytic and anxiogenic properties of various drugs have been documented using the EPM with the former leading to decreases in open-arm escape/avoidance and the latter leading to increases in open-arm escape/avoidance. The current study employs this methodology to study Kava, a nutraceutical advertised and sold as a sedative and anxiolytic drug. In animal models of anxiety, some researchers have indicated that Kava reduces anxiety when administered in acute doses; however, acute doses of Kava are largely ineffective for alleviating anxiety in human populations. In this study, the efficacy of chronic administration of Kava is assessed by treating rats with daily doses and exposing them to the EPM in 5-minute tests conducted weekly. The resulting exploratory behavior is measured and the extent to which the data show a decreased avoidance and escape from the open arms will determine the potential utility of Kava in treating generalized anxiety disorder.
56. Comparison of the Oral and Intravenous Routes in the Self-Administration of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’) in Rats.
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
LINCOLN S. HELY (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), David N. Harper (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Maree J. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Susan Schenk (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
Abstract: Recent studies have produced reliable self-administration of the so-called “party drug” 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ecstasy) in rats. This finding suggests that MDMA may share many of the addictive properties common to other prominent CNS stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamine). The well known abuse potential of the CNS stimulants suggests that MDMA may also prove to be addictive, though anecdotally the drug is not considered to be so. Experimental evidence for the addictive properties of MDMA can be derived from experimental manipulations of the self-administration procedure. In humans MDMA is primarily consumed in one or more oral doses, however animal studies have relied upon the IV route of administration in the study of its effects. Animals in this study showed dose dependent responding for oral doses of MDMA providing evidence for the reinforcing effects of MDMA when it is delivered via the oral route of administration. Comparisons with IV administered MDMA and implications for MDMA research will be discussed.



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