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 #481
CE Offered: BACB
Explorations of Extinction in Basic and Applied Research
Monday, May 29, 2017
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom E
Area: EAB/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Forrest Toegel (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Michael E. Kelley (The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Tyler Nighbor, M.A.
Abstract: Extinction - the discontinuation of response-contingent reinforcement – is not only a common life occurrence but also an intervention to reduce problematic behavior. The present symposium considers research on the extinction-related phenomena of resurgence and spontaneous recovery and on the efficacy of extinction procedures used in clinical treatment and in the laboratory. The work encompasses a range of subjects – rats, pigeons, and people with autism – studied in basic and applied settings. The goal is to encourage an exchange of ideas that will promote translational research on extinction and related phenomena.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Extinction, Resurgence, Spontaneous Recovery, Translational Research
Control of Spontaneous Recovery by Temporally Sequenced Auditory Stimuli
(Basic Research)
FORREST TOEGEL (West Virginia University), Cory Whirtley (West Virginia University), Michael Perone (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Spontaneous recovery is the recurrence of previously extinguished behavior at the beginning of successive extinction sessions. We investigated the possibility that spontaneous recovery is controlled by stimuli correlated with the start of a session. Rats’ lever pressing was reinforced with food on a variable-interval 60-s schedule during training sessions divided into five segments lasting 10 min each. A distinctive auditory stimulus was correlated with each segment. In a series of test sessions, responding was extinguished by discontinuing reinforcement. For some rats, the temporal order of the stimuli was the same as in training, so that the start of every session was accompanied by the same stimulus. Other rats were tested with the stimuli in a different order. In two experiments, extinction sessions were arranged on successive days or immediately after one another on the same day. Spontaneous recovery was greater when a consistent stimulus was correlated with the start of the sessions, and when the sessions were separated by a day.
Persistence of Responding Maintained by DRL Schedules
(Basic Research)
TYLER NIGHBOR (West Virginia University), Kennon Andy Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate (DRL) schedules reinforce responses separated by t seconds or more from the previous response. Little is known about the effects of extinction on responding previously maintained by DRL schedules. Aside from conventional extinction, extinction is also arranged as response-independent food presentations on a fixed or variable-time (VT) schedule. The purpose of the present experiment was to compare the effects of conventional extinction and VT extinction on four pigeons’ key-pecking previously maintained by multiple DRL 15-s DRL 15-s schedules. In EXT 1, conventional extinction was arranged in one component. In the other, VT component, reinforcement rates and temporal distributions of reinforcers were yoked to those obtained in baseline. Response rates were lower in the conventional extinction component than the VT component for 3 of the 4 pigeons. In EXT 2, following reestablishing baseline, conventional extinction was arranged in one component and a VT 30-s schedule in the other component. Results of EXT 1 were consistent with those from EXT 2. The VT schedules maintained higher response rates than did conventional extinction for 3 of the 4 pigeons, and in some cases, maintained higher response rates than the DRL baseline. Additionally, conventional extinction did not eliminate responding entirely.
The Effects of Non-Contingent Reinforcement on Resurgence
(Basic Research)
JESSICA LANGLEY (University of Auckland), John Bai (University of Auckland), Christopher A. Podlesnik (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Understanding the mechanisms behind resurgence is vital for developing effective treatments to replace problem behaviour. The typical resurgence procedure consists of three phases, where the first phase involves reinforcement of a target response. Second, the target response is extinguished and an alternative response is reinforced. Third, reinforcement for both responses is extinguished and target responding typically resurges. Previous research found more abrupt resurgence when the alternative response was unavailable in Phase 3 (a modified procedure), than when the alternative response was available (the typical procedure). The current study replicated the modified procedure using non-contingent alternative reinforcement with 6 homing pigeons. We found abrupt resurgence in both the modified and typical procedures, and peak resurgence in the initial sessions in both procedures. In contrast, a control condition replicating the typical procedure with response-contingent reinforcement resulted in peak responding after the initial sessions. This difference in the patterns of resurgence suggest that the relation between responding and reinforcement may influence the onset of resurgence, possibly because non-contingent reinforcement produces less response competition than contingent reinforcement.
Further Evaluation and Analysis of Differential Exposure to Establishing Operations During Functional Communication Training
(Applied Research)
DANIEL R. MITTEER (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Brian D. Greer (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Adam M. Briggs (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute), Ashley Marie Fuhrman (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Patrick Romani (University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus), Amanda Zangrillo (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Munroe-Meyer Institute)
Abstract: Recent research findings (DeRosa, Fisher, & Steege, 2015) suggest that minimizing exposure to the establishing operation (EO) for destructive behavior when differential-reinforcement interventions like functional communication training (FCT) are first introduced may produce more immediate reductions in destructive behavior and prevent or mitigate dangerous extinction (EXT) bursts. We directly tested this hypothesis by introducing FCT with EXT in two conditions, one with limited exposure to the EO (limited EO) and one with more extended exposure to the EO (extended EO) using a combined reversal and multielement design. For one participant, we conducted this evaluation in a multiple-baseline design across functions of destructive behavior. Participants were two boys (ages 3-4) diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder who engaged in destructive behavior maintained by access to tangibles, escape, or both. Results demonstrated that the limited-EO condition rapidly reduced destructive behavior to low levels during every application, whereas the extended-EO condition produced an EXT burst in five of six applications. We discuss these findings in relation to the effects of EO exposure on the beneficial and untoward effects of differential-reinforcement interventions.



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