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.


39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

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Special Event #78
SQAB Tutorial: Behavioral Mechanisms of Drug Action: What Are They, How Will We Know One When We See It, and How Might Quantitative Models Help?
Saturday, May 25, 2013
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Auditorium Room 1 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Presenting Authors: : RAYMOND C. PITTS (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)

More than 45 years of research in behavioral pharmacology has shown quite clearly that environmental variables are powerful determinants of the behavioral effects of drugs. Unfortunately, providing a coherent, behavior-analytic framework within which to characterize the roles of environmental context, behavioral history, schedule of reinforcement, type of reinforcer, and deprivation level (to name a few) has proven to be quite a challenge. It has been suggested that effects of these and the myriad other environmental determinants might be viewed within a conceptual framework referred to as "behavioral mechanisms" of drug action. This tutorial will describe the notion of behavioral mechanisms of drug action and review some of the sorts of data that have been said to illustrate them. The focus will be on the potential for quantitative models as a set of tools for elucidating behavioral mechanisms. The presentation will conclude by exploring the applied/translational implications of the concept.

RAYMOND C. PITTS (University of North Carolina at Wilmington)
Raymond C. Pitts received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Florida in 1989. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Wake Forest Medical School, he took a job as a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. In 1996, he moved to the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and has been there ever since. He achieved his current rank of professor in 2005.  Dr. Pitts has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst. His work has been supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and has been published in journals such as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Psychopharmacology, Behavioural Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioural Processes, and the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Psychopharmacology. He has served as the ABAI Program co-chair and currently serves as the experimental representative on the ABAI Council.



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