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 #476
#477 Poster Session (EAB)
Monday, May 26, 2008
6:00 PM–7:30 PM
South Exhibit Hall
100. Peak Shift in Simultaneous Discriminations.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DAVID A. OLDBERG (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee), Jay Moore (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
Abstract: Within the learning and conditioning literature, a phenomenon known as peak shift is recognized as a robust effect in generalization testing. When an organism is differentially reinforced for responding to two stimuli from a continuous dimension, such as the visible light spectrum, and then a third novel stimulus from that dimension is presented, the peak of the post-discrimination gradient usually shifts toward the value of the novel stimulus. Observed peak shifts are frequently interpreted as evidence of generalization and therefore relational, rather than absolute or feature learning, but only occur in the literature to date with successive procedures. This study attempted to obtain peak shift using pigeons in a much simpler simultaneous discrimination procedure than has been previously described in the literature. No peak shifts were observed and possible explanations of this result and refinements of this procedure are discussed.
101. Effects of Categorial Size and Type of Modeling on a Categorization Task with Children.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ALEJANDRA MARQUEZ (Univeridad de Guadalajara), Emilio Ribes Iñesta (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Abstract: We present data from an experimental study, the objective of which was to identify the influence of the number of objects in each category and two kinds of modeling (differential and non-differential) on the adjustment to categorization criteria. Eight children between 3 and 4 years old participated. They were randomly assigned to one of the two experimental groups. They had to solve a categorization task similar to Klein’s (1959). Children had to classify several objects according to the material they were made of (plastic, metal, wood). Phases of the study included: (a) pretest, (b) one session with differential modeling or non-differential modeling (listening) accordingly with the experimental group, (c) one test session of categorization with 12 objects, (d) one session identical to (b), (e) one test session of categorization with 30 objects, (f) one session identical to (f), and (i) posttest. Data were analyzed in terms of children’s comprehension of the categorization criteria along with the cognitive outcomes (attending, reproducing, and assigning) they attained using different linguistic modes.
102. Winning, Losing, and Matching in Professional Sports Teams.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
SHAWN R. CHARLTON (University of Central Arkansas), Robyn Brown (University of Central Arkansas), William Thomas Acklin (University of Central Arkansas)
Abstract: A number of recent reports have demonstrated the ability of the Matching Law to describe performance by professional athletes. While these analyses have been shown to provide accurate descriptions of sports behavior, the importance of this relationship is not fully understood. This poster presents the results of an analysis of the outcomes of professional basketball (NBA) and football (NFL) games across an entire season for potential differences in the matching analysis between the winners and losers of these contests. The importance of these findings and further directions for this research will be discussed.
103. Choice Between High and Low Risk Options on an Earnings-Budget Procedure: Dynamic Optimization Model Analyses.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
GABRIEL DANIEL SEARCY (Western Michigan University), J. Adam Bennett (Western Michigan University), Megan A. Boyle (Western Michigan University), Cynthia J. Pietras (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Risky choice in 10 adult humans was investigated across procedural manipulations designed to model energy-budget manipulations conducted with non-humans. Subjects were presented with repeated choices between high-variance and low-variance options that delivered money. An energy-budget was simulated by use of an earnings-budget, wherein a participant needed to meet a minimum income requirement within a 5-trial block in order to keep the accumulated earnings. Within-block choices were analyzed against the predictions of a dynamic optimization model. Choice was greatly consistent with previous non-human research and the Energy Budget rule, but there were some deviations from predictions. Performance was not as consistent with the predictions of the dynamic model as in previous experiments in which choice options were fixed and variable. These results suggest that choice may be less optimal when both options are variable compared to when one option is variable and one is fixed.
104. An Examination of Bipolar Theory with Concurrent Observing Response Manipulations.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
STEPHEN PICKFORD (Jacksonville State University), Jade Hill (Jacksonville State University), William L. Palya (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Previous research examining response patterns in an interfood clock schedule has demonstrated that responding is a relative function that begins at the approximate mid-point of the interval and increases up to the point of reinforcement (Palya, 1990). Observational tests have indicated that the first half of the interval controls behavior other than the terminal behavior, whereas the second half of an interfood clock controls increasing amounts of the terminal behavior (Palya, 1993). The present experiment examined the inhibitory to excitatory gradient with a three-key concurrent schedule. The center key was a clocked fixed-time schedule. The two side keys were concurrent- and equal-variable interval schedules, with one simultaneously serving as an observing response and the other as an observing stimulus termination response. Results show that observing stimulus termination responses occur more often in the first half of the interval, and observing responses occur more often in the second half. Responding typically switched to the clock during the final portions of the interval. This response pattern offers some support for a bipolar perspective of responding in an interfood interval.
105. The Bipolar Model – Behavior as a Function of Position in the Interfood Interval.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JADE HILL (Jacksonville State University), William L. Palya (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Bipolar theory predicts that the first half of an interfood clock is inhibitory and the second half of the interval is increasingly excitatory. Palya (1993) used an observing response procedure to show that this response gradient in a clocked fixed-time schedule is well described by an ogival function. The purpose of the present experiment was to explicitly examine the shape of the gradient by increasing responding above its baseline level and to develop a mathematical model that describes responding to clock stimuli. The background level of responding was increased by adding a conjoint variable interval to a clock schedule already in effect. A model for a bipolar account of behavior was developed, and this model was compared to an exponential model to determine which best described responding to an interfood clock schedule.
106. Progressive-Ratio Schedules: Effects of Signaled and Unsignaled Delays to Reinforcement.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
DAVID P. JARMOLOWICZ (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: On variable interval and differential reinforcement of low rate schedules brief unsignaled delays to reinforcement have been associated with increased response rates whereas brief signaled delays to reinforcement have been associated with decreased response rates (Lattal & Ziegler, 1982; Richards, 1981). However, the effects of brief delays to reinforcement on progressive-ratio (PR) responding are unknown. The current experiment examined the effects of both signaled and unsignaled delays to reinforcement of various durations (i.e., 1 s, 5 s and 10 s) on PR responding. Results are discussed in reference to the reinforcing efficacy of reinforcers following signaled and unsignaled delays.
107. Change and Repeat: Demonstrating Control Over Variable and Repetitive Behaviors in Dog Training.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CARMEN BUITRAGO (Central Washington University)
Abstract: Learning, problem solving and novelty are expressions of behavior long attributed to complex cognitive processes. However, studies on the constructs of problem solving and novelty show these behavior patterns to be correlated with behavioral variability, and behavioral variability has been shown to be influenced by reinforcement. This poster depicts operant control of three domestic dogs’ repetitive and variable or novel responding when the two classes of behavior were differentially reinforced in the presence of discriminated verbal stimuli. In an alternating treatments design that included five phases of training, experimental control was demonstrated over the expression of response variation and repetition in rapid alternation. All dogs met the minimum criterion of 80% correct, except for one repetition segment of one dog. This study replicates the work of Page and Neuringer (1985) in a practical context and extends it to Canis familiaris. The ability to cue a dog to vary its behavior within some confines, and then home in on a desired target behavior on cue and repeat that, could prove useful in applied settings. Potential practical applications will be discussed.
108. Matching Law: Altering Response Allocation with Reinforcement Rate and Delay.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
LEZLEE ANN GREGUSON (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Gary Duhon (Louisiana State University), Blake Reddick (Oklahoma State University), Stacey Lee (Oklahoma State University)
Abstract: This study measured those reinforcement variables related to choice behavior across student academic responding in the classroom. This study expands from traditional research utilizing the generalized matching law and student response allocation such that experimental levels of reinforcement were predetermined and not based on individual-student responding. This study addressed the sensitivity variables of reinforcement noted in the generalized matching law and attempted to elicit a sensitivity threshold for rate and immediacy of reinforcement. These two thresholds were then implemented concurrently to assess the influence on student academic behavior and the relative impact one variable (rate or immediacy) may have on the other. Rate threshold results indicated individualized rate thresholds could be determined. Second, delay thresholds were determined for each student. And lastly when implementing delay and rate thresholds in concurrent schedules, 4 students allocated choice responses to the delay condition than the rate condition. One student chose to allocate responses higher to the rate condition than the delay condition. In other words, when implementing individualized delay and rate thresholds four students chose to do fewer problems for more reinforcement and wait for it rather than doing more problems for less reinforcement and receiving the reinforcement immediately.
109. Effects of Pramipexole on Choice for Differential Rewards in a Delay Discounting Paradigm.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ADAM T. BREWER (University of Kansas), Patrick S. Johnson (University of Kansas), Jeff S. Stein (University of Kansas), Nathaniel G. Smith (University of Kansas), Dean C. Williams (University of Kansas), Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of Kansas), James H. Woods (University of Michigan), Gregory J. Madden (University of Kansas)
Abstract: Clinical reports suggest individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease treated with dopamine (D3) agonist medications are at risk for impulsive behaviors (Driver-Dunckley et al., 2003; Molina et al, 2000). In a survey of gambling in Parkinson’s patients, several patients who took pramipexole engaged in problem or pathological gambling (Dodd et al., 2005). Many of the patients reported an increased sex drive (up to 4 times daily), compulsive eating, and/or increased alcohol consumption. Using an acute-dosing regimen, we sought to assess the effects of pramipexole on decision making in a delay-discounting task (i.e., choice between smaller-sooner and larger-later food rewards). In one phase, the delay to the larger-later reward was adjusted to establish a baseline of self-control. Subsequently, saline or pramipexole (0.03 – 0.1 mg/kg) was injected prior to the session. Pramipexole increased impulsive decision-making above the baseline and saline levels. In a second phase, delays were adjusted in the opposite direction to maintain a baseline of impulsivity. Dosing proceeded as before, but the baseline of impulsivity was not disrupted, suggesting that the prior effect was not due to nonspecific effects of pramipexole.
110. Fixed-Time Schedule Effects: Alone and In Combination with Response-Dependent Schedules.
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
JAMIE MEINTS (University of the Pacific, Stockton), John C. Borrero (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Abstract: Events delivered on time-based schedules have been found to produce response persistence when these schedules are temporally similar to response-dependent schedules that precede them. The extent to which response persistence would be observed under response-independent schedules, when combined with response-dependent schedules has been an area of appreciably less applied research. We will report the effects of concurrent schedules (i.e., response-independent and response-dependent schedules) on task completion (i.e., vocational tasks) performed by individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Results will be discussed in terms of the role of response-independent (free) events on response output.
111. Acquisition and Extinction of Two-Responses Sequences.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
IXEL ALONSO (Intituto de Neurociencias, Universidad de Guadalajara-México), Hector Martinez Sanchez (Intituto de Neurociencias, Universidad de Guadalajara-México), Gustavo Bachá (Facultad de Psicología UNAM-México)
Abstract: Two experiments examined the acquisition of two-response sequences when reinforcement contingencies were unchanged (Experiment 1) and changed (Experiment 2). Extinction was introduced after sequence acquisition to evaluate potential structural differences of learned sequences (i.e., homogenous versus heterogeneous). Groups of rats were exposed to homogenous (left-left or right-right) or heterogeneous (left-right or right-left) sequences. Only one of four possible two-response sequences provided reinforcement on acquisition. Experiment 1 consisted of two phases. In the first phase (acquisition), a two-response sequence was reinforced until 1000 reinforces were completed (fifty trials by session). In the second phase, extinction was introduced during twenty sessions. Experiment 2 consisted of three experimental phases. In the first phase, reinforcement was delivered after a homogeneous or heterogeneous sequence was completed. In the phase 2, the reinforcement was delivered after performing the opposite homogeneous or heterogeneous sequence to the reinforced on the previous phase. The last phase consisted of twenty extinction sessions. Results show that rats learned to perform the correct two-response sequences on acquisition phases. However, in extinction conditions, regardless the response sequence previously reinforced, resistance to change for more than 15 days was observed. Data are discussed in terms of the behavioral momentum theory and response strength.
112. Extending the Activity of Black Bears by Manipulating the Schedule of Enrichment.
Area: EAB; Domain: Applied Research
KATHRYN L. KALAFUT (University of North Texas), Jesus Rosales-ruiz (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Enrichment has been defined as an animal husbandry principle that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being (Shepherdson, 1998). Therefore, an item should not be deemed “enrichment” until its effects have been measured systematically and their beneficial effects are exposed. The following research analyzed the effects of various enrichment objects on the activity levels in American Black Bears. At first the bears were observed during four consecutive hours (10-2:00 pm) under various conditions of enrichment and no enrichment. For several months their behavior pattern of activity did not change. Then an automatic feeder was activated at 11:30 first, then at 12:00 and finally at 12:30. Results showed that by manipulating the time of the feeder's deployment, the amount of active behaviors emitted by the bears could be extended and increased. The feeder also served to increase the amount of interactions the bears had within their enclosure. To further assess these effects the feeder will be activated at 11:30 again.
113. Activity-Based Anorexia: A Females and Males Comparison in Rats.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
HECTOR MARTINEZ SANCHEZ (Universidad de Guadalajara), Iris Lorena Gomez Sanchez (Universidad de Guadalajara)
Abstract: Activity-based anorexia occurs when rats are exposed to a restricted-feeding schedule and free access to running wheels. As a result the subjects quickly develop a loss of corporal weight, reduce the food consumption and show a remarkable increase in the activity wheel. This procedure has shown to be effective in male rats, whereas in female rats results are not conclusive. In this study, we compared female and male rats in the activity-based anorexia model. Twelve albino rats, six males and six females, 2 months old at the beginning of the experiment, were exposed to food restriction and free access to running wheels. Prior to food restriction, rats received free access to food and water and the running wheel was unavailable during five consecutive days. On the seven following days, both groups were exposed to 23 hours of food restriction and running wheel access. Water was available during the whole experiment. Finally, five days served to recover previous body weight. Results show a decrease in body weight and food intake in both groups. However, male rats developed an increase in the activity wheel in the last two days as compared with females. Data are discussed in terms of the potential consequences in the understanding of anorexia in humans.
114. Further Analysis of Delay-Interval Responding.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
THOMAS P. BYRNE (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), Scott B. Greenberg (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts)
Abstract: In two studies, rats acquired novel operant responding under conditions of delayed reinforcement. As in previous studies, a resetting delay was utilized to guarantee that programmed and obtained delays were equivalent. However close examination of lever-press topographies in the first experiment, and nose-poke topographies in the second experiment, suggested the possibility that adventitious immediate reinforcement may compromise the integrity of the delay interval. During the delay intervals, rats emitted numerous responses that were topographically very similar to the designated responses, but were of insufficient intensity to reset the delay. Such responding could be strengthened by immediate reinforcement, and thus acquisition may be a function of more immediate rather than delayed contingencies.
115. Effect of Self-Generated Rule on Instructed/Shaped Nonverbal Behavior.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
YOSHIHIRO TANAKA (Kwansei Gakuin University), Tsuneo Shimazaki (Kwansei Gakuin University)
Abstract: The present study was intended to assess the strength of the control of the self-generated rule over nonverbal behavior (button pressing) which has been established by two different manner, shaping and instruction, with procedures used by Catania, Matthews, and Shimoff (1982). Participants engaged in a button pressing task in which the button pressing on left or right buttons occasionally produced points, according to a multiple random- ratio / random-interval schedule. During interruption periods of the schedules, the participants were required to fill out sentence-completion guess sheets about how to press the buttons to gain more points. Participants’ guesses were shaped by feedback of differentially awarded points. As a result, button pressing of all participants was consistent with participants’ guesses in schedules when the button pressing was established by instruction. When the button pressing was established by shaping, on the other hand, the button pressing of most participants was consistent with schedules not guesses. The results of the present study indicate that the strength of the control of self-generated rule depends on the manner of establishing nonverbal behavior, shaping or instruction.
116. Context Effects in Judgments of Flicker Frequency by Pigeons.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
JAMES CERRI (University of Tennessee), John C. Malone (University of Tennessee)
Abstract: White Carneau Pigeons were exposed over many months to a large variety of sequences of light-flicker stimuli in which pecks to a 25Hz stimulus were occasionally accompanied by brief food deliveries. The range of stimuli in the set was varied, with the widest range being from 15Hz to 56Hz. The spacing of stimuli was originally 10Hz and was reduced to 5Hz and, finally, to 3Hz. Subsequent sequences featured eight flicker values, ranging from 13Hz to 37Hz, spaced 3Hz apart. In some conditions sequences were varied so that each stimulus presentation was preceded by an extreme member of the set or by a stimulus in the middle of the range. In addition, sequences were run in ascending series, descending series, and in parts of a complete series. Strong context effects appeared in the birds’ response rates. A final condition showed that effects of a sequence were recoverable after experience with an intervening sequence.
117. The Subjective Value of Delayed Rewards Series under Risk in Time Course.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KENTARO KAWASHIMA (Kawamura Gakuen Woman's University), Aiko Maeda (Waseda University), Naritoshi Iida (Waseda University)
Abstract: In everyday life, people choose to receive rewards at regular intervals, for example, deciding to invest in bonds for receiving dividends. These situations can, however, change suddenly due to the occurrence of bad events such as bankruptcy of a company and war. The interval of occurrence of these random events follows the exponential distribution. However, previous studies on choice and delay discounting usually investigated the effect of reinforcement probabilities of the choice response, which remain unchanged in the time course. This study investigated the effect of risk in the time course on the subjective value of delayed reward series using a continuous FI + VT bankruptcy schedule, in which participants regularly receive rewards from the FI schedule, but the trial suddenly stops due to VT bankruptcy. Eighteen undergraduates chose between a continuous FI 4 s schedule with a constant reward amount and a continuous FI 4 s + VT bankruptcy X s schedule with an adjusting amount. Three different lengths of expected bankruptcy timings (15 s, 30 s, and 60 s) were used as experimental conditions. The means of the adjusted amount were higher for shorter bankruptcy time. The expected total amounts in one trial, however, were higher for longer bankruptcy time.
118. The Effect of Switching from Intermittent to Continuous Reinforcement on Extinction of Behavior.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
KATHRYN M. POTOCZAK (Shippensburg University), Jennie M. Baumgardner (Shippensburg University), Catherine M. Gayman (Shippensburg University), Ashley Harrison (Shippensburg University), Annelise Steyn (Shippensburg University)
Abstract: Extinguishing aberrant behavior, even when functional analytic outcomes are utilized, takes an extended period of time, rendering it at times unpalatable as a deceleration procedure. As an existing body of research indicates that extinction occurs faster after continuous reinforcement (CRF) as compared to intermittent reinforcement (INT), known as the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE), it was hypothesized that switching a behavior from INT to CRF before implementation of extinction would decrease the number of sessions needed for the behavior to extinguish. Twenty rats were taught to lever press, then shaped to a variable-ratio 8 (VR8) schedule. The rats were then randomly split into two equal groups. Group one was subjected to CRF for five 30-minute sessions; group two was not. Both groups were then put on extinction. The dependent measure was the number of sessions necessary for complete extinction (defined as two consecutive 30-minute sessions with no lever pressing). Our data indicates that rats exposed to CRF after INT actually extinguish less rapidly than those not exposed to CRF (seven rats have extinguished in group one, versus two in group two, after five months of data collection, which continues), which may have important implications for the PREE and its application.
119. Respondent and Operant Effects of a Long Inter-Trial Interval and a Clock Trial Stimulus.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
ROBERT W. ALLAN (Lafayette College)
Abstract: Autoshaping, or sign tracking, has typically been procedurally characterized by a relatively brief inter-trial interval (ITI; e.g., 60 s) followed by a very short trial stimulus (e.g., 6 s) ending in food delivery. Pigeons' key pecking is maintained by such a schedule even when a response-reinforcer contingency is not present. The present work involves a long ITI (5 min) followed by a long clock trial stimulus (30 s). As compared to a condition in which the same clock stimulus is utilized but without the ITI, responding was greatly enhanced (both in rate and latency to begin pecking) when the ITI was present. A setback contingency resulted in comparably decreased rates in both ITI and no-ITI conditions.
120. Behavioral Economics: Demand for Different Feeds with Horses.
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
MARY J. ARMISTEAD (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Therese Mary Foster (University of Waikato, New Zealand), William Temple (University of Waikato, New Zealand), Jennifer Chandler (University of Waikato, New Zealand)
Abstract: There are no published studies with horses that use increasing work requirements to assess the demand for food. This study used the method of paired comparisons to get a measure of the horses’ preference between nine different foods. The horses were exposed to two series of increasing fixed-ratio schedules with each food. Sessions were of a fixed length. Previous research with hens (Fleville, 2002) compared demand functions generated in the same way for each of three foods. This found that the preferred food was associated with the slowest response rates at small ratios and hence the lowest consumption (measured as number of reinforcers obtained) at these ratios. However, it was also associated with the most inelastic demand, and it maintained behaviour to larger ratios than the other foods. The question addressed in the present study was whether or not there would be slower response rates for the more preferred food at small ratios with horses. The data from the most and least preferred food will be presented.
121. Pattern of Responses in FI Schedules in Infants and Children: A Matter of Artifacts?
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
CELINE CLEMENT (Louis Pasteur University, France), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University), Jean-Claude Darcheville (University of Lille, France)
Abstract: In discussing the determinants of human operant behavior, Lowe (1979) concluded that one of the most important factors responsible for the differences between human and nonhuman schedule performance might be verbal behavior. Lowe’s appealing hypothesis was that from infancy to the end of childhood there was a transition from nonhuman-like contingency governed operant behavior to verbally governed behavior. Lowe’s studies have shown that responding of infants and young children during FI was typical of the behavior of nonhumans, providing data that tended to validate his hypothesis. Darcheville et al. (1993) however, showed that some infants aged between 3 and 24 months, and therefore preverbal, emitted low response rates under FI schedules. Our hypothesis is that these inconsistent data may be explained by procedural differences between the experiments. Our approach is one of examining procedural differences between the studies. In particular, we consider how reinforcer type and apparatus affect the dynamics of responding of humans on FI schedules. The analysis may provide useful insights concerning the design of experimental procedures for evaluating temporal regulation in infants and children.



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