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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Invited Paper Session #422
CE Offered: BACB

Electronics and 3D Printing: A Basic Guide for Behavior Analysts

Monday, May 29, 2017
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Rogelio Escobar, Ph.D.
Chair: Federico Sanabria (Arizona State University)
ROGELIO ESCOBAR (National Autonomous University of Mexico)
Dr. Rogelio Escobar earned a degree in Psychology in 2001 and a doctoral degree in behavior analysis in 2007 at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He was a postdoctoral fellow at West Virginia University from 2008 to 2010. He has been a Professor of Psychology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico since 2010 and is the current Editor of the Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Escobar has worked on animal and human operant research and has specialized on the history of instruments in experimental psychology and behavior analysis, and the application of new technologies to the development of instruments for operant research. In 2012 he received the SABA International Development Grant for a project to teach behavior analysts how to use new technologies to build inexpensive equipment for operant research and classroom demonstrations. In 2014 he coedited with Janet Twyman a Special Issue of the Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis on Behavior Analysis and Technology. In 2016 he started TAC3D, a company that designs and manufactures low-cost 3D-printed operant chambers. He received recognition as National Researcher by the Mexican Council of Science and Technology.

Most behavior analysts would agree that new technologies can help advancing behavior analysis. It is certainly appealing to integrate new developments in electronics and manufacturing techniques, such as 3d printing, into the study of behavior. Taking the steps to actually do it, however, can be challenging. Selecting the right tools from the vast array of choices and learning how to use them, aside from consuming time and money, could take behavior analysts away from their main interest: the study of behavior. During the time that I have been working with 3D printing and electronics, I have identified inexpensive electronic devices and have encountered and created free-distribution software that are not only readily available but can also be used with minimum effort. In this talk I will describe such components and software and will show how electronics and 3D printing technologies can be combined in the design of simple inexpensive devices that can be used for recording and reinforcing responses in basic or applied settings. The rationale followed to assemble such devices could be extended to integrate other electronic components that could help behavior analysts identify responses and present stimuli in varied and innovative ways.

Target Audience:

Students and scientists with a knowledge of the principles of behavior analysis

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, attendees will be able to: (1) discuss the basics of the simple electronics used in a fully automatic operant-conditioning chamber, including the basics of sensors for detecting responses and devices for presenting stimuli; (2) select and know the basics of easy-to-use electronic components that can be used in operant research and demonstrations; (3) find, download and use the free and open programs that can be used to control such electronic components; (4) find and download free and open source tridimensional models of parts used in standard operant chambers; (5) select free and easy-to-use programs to modify or design tridimensional models of parts used in operant-conditioning equipmentf; (6) think about innovative ways of using new and inexpensive sensors for detecting a variety of response dimensions and devices for presenting stimuli.



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