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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #179
CE Offered: BACB
Current Research on Resurgence and Other Relapse Phenomena
Sunday, May 28, 2017
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom E
Area: EAB/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Ryan Kimball (Munroe-Meyer Institute - University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Claire C. St. Peter, Ph.D.
Abstract: The relapse of behavior following treatment is a significant and complex issue in the field of applied behavior analysis. It is critical that researchers examine the variables that surround the occurrence of relapse. The next steps in practice and application may be revealed through a greater understanding of relapse at the procedural level and the level of behavioral processes. Translational and basic research provide avenues for investigating the influences of treatment relapse and can serve as the first steps in developing more successful treatments for behavior of significance. This symposium will present current research from four different evaluations of relapse. The first presentation is a basic study that examined the resurgence of target responding when the rate of reinforcement for the alternative response was thinned via progressive ratio schedules. The second presentation is a translational study that examined the differences in resurgence between conditions in which the alternative response was present and when the alternative response was absent. The third presentation is a basic study that examined the cross-species generality of the relapse types of resurgence, renewal, and reinstatement in zebrafish. The last presentation is a translational study that examined the combined effects of resurgence and reinstatement on target behavior.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): extinction, resurgence, translational research, treatment relapse
Resurgence During Extinction Versus Progressive Ratios
(Basic Research)
JOHN BAI (University of Auckland), Thuong Huyen (Florida Institute of Technology and the Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Laboratory models of relapse offer insights into the relapse of problem behavior in clinical contexts. Resurgence is the re-emergence of an extinguished behavior following the “worsening of conditions” of an alternative source of reinforcement, and is typically examined by arranging three successive conditions: (1) reinforcement of a target response, (2) extinction of the target and concurrent reinforcement of an alternative response, and (3) re-emergence of the target response when extinguishing the alternative response. However, complete extinction of alternative reinforcement would represent an extreme failure of treatment integrity, whereas occasional omission of reinforcement is more likely under natural conditions. The present study assessed resurgence of target responding when thinning the alternative-reinforcement rate with a progressive-ratio schedule. Target key-pecking in six pigeons was initially maintained by variable-ratio 10 food reinforcement. During extinction of target responding, alternative key-pecking was trained with fixed-ratio 5 reinforcement. Finally, reinforcement for alternative responding was transitioned to a progressive-ratio schedule, where the response requirement for reinforcement doubled after each reinforcer. Target responding resurged during the progressive ratio, but to a lesser extent than when alternative reinforcement was completely extinguished. Furthermore, target responding resurged more during longer inter-reinforcer intervals, suggesting that local discrimination processes operate during resurgence.
Evaluation of a Modified Resurgence Arrangement
(Basic Research)
RYAN KIMBALL (Munroe-Meyer Institute - University of Nebraska Medical Center), Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology), Alex Forton (Florida Institute of Technology and the Scott Center for Autism Treatment), Brandy Hinkle (Florida Institute of Technology and the Scott Center for Autism Treatment)
Abstract: Resurgence is the reemergence of a previously reinforced response that occurs when a more recently reinforced alternative response is placed on extinction. Resurgence is problematic in the context of treatment because the reemergence of a previously reinforced destructive response could be detrimental to both treatment gains and an individual’s health in the case of severe behavior disorders. In the current study, we examined a modified resurgence procedure in which the alternative response was absent during extinction in a translational format with analogue tasks. Four participants (three individuals diagnosed with ASD and a typically developing individual) were exposed to three different phases that consisted of reinforcement of a target response, alternative reinforcement, and extinction. In the current study, patterns of resurgence differed depending on the presence or absence of the alternative response during extinction. Results shed light on the reinforcement and stimulus conditions during the implementation of treatment that produce or inhibit resurgence.
Resurgence, Renewal, and Reinstatement of Operant Responding in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
(Basic Research)
TOSHIKAZU KURODA (Aichi Bunkyo University), Yuto Mizutani (Aichi Gakuin University), Carlos Renato Xavier Cançado (Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Zebrafish have widely been used as an animal model in biomedical research. Their genomes have been fully sequenced, allowing for the study of interactions between genes and environmental contingencies. Focusing on the analysis of behavior, the present study demonstrated three common relapse effects in zebrafish, namely, reinstatement, renewal, and resurgence. Each type of relapse was assessed in a three-phase procedure. For reinstatement, target responding was established in Phase 1, extinguished in Phase 2, and then followed by response-independent reinforcer deliveries in Phase 3. For renewal, target responding was established in Context A in Phase 1, extinguished in Context B in Phase 2, followed by a return to Context A in Phase 3. For resurgence, target responding was established in Phase 1, followed by extinction of the target response while reinforcing alternative responding in Phase 2, and then extinction of the alternative response in Phase 3.
Assessing the Combined Effects of Resurgence and Reinstatement
(Basic Research)
ASHLEY ABEL (Munroe-Meyer Institute ), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology), Regina Nastri (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: This study examined both individual and combined effects of processes involved with resurgence and reinstatement of a simulated problem behavior with 3 children on the autism spectrum, using a translational model of treatment relapse. During Phase A, a target response was reinforced. Phase B modeled non-contingent reinforcement (NCR), placing the target response on extinction and providing an alternative toy to engage with. Phases C-E were counterbalanced and tested for treatment relapse. One phase assessed resurgence by removing the alternative toy. Another phase evaluated reinstatement effects by providing response-independent reinforcement. Another phase combined resurgence and reinstatement effects by both removing the toy as well as providing response-independent reinforcement. Treatment relapse expressed as both maximum as well as average, was greatest during the combined phase for all but one participant. These results support previous literature and indicate the importance of understanding and planning for combinations of relapse processes when developing applied interventions.



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