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.


10th International Conference; Stockholm, Sweden; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #12
Gained in Translation: Contemporary Approaches to Translational Research in Behavior Analysis
Sunday, September 29, 2019
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 2, Meeting Room 24/25
Area: EAB/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: The three talks to be presented in this symposium represent a range of current approaches to translational research in behavior analysis. Each provides a unique illustration of interplay between basic, applied, and conceptual issues in behavior analysis and of the benefits to be gained from a careful marshalling of these interactions. Christine Hughes will discuss a pigeon laboratory model for investigating the aversive characteristics of timeout and its parameters, with attention to implications of her findings for the timeout procedures commonly used across a range of settings and populations. David Maguire will present work with nonhuman primates evaluating the clinical potential of opioid/cannabinoid mixtures to treat pain while simultaneously decreasing or even eliminating the adverse effects that have led to pressing societal concerns over the medical use of opioids. Carol Pilgrim will describe outcomes from two experiments, one of which explores theoretical questions about the contingency-based origins of equivalence relations in the lab and one which translates that laboratory work into effective procedures for establishing English vocabulary skills with Spanish-speaking preschoolers.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Translational Timeout Research: Challenges in the Lab
(Basic Research)
CHRISTINE E. HUGHES (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Tiffany Kronenwetter (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Timeout from positive reinforcement is a frequently used and accepted punishment procedure across a wide range of situations and populations. Although extensively used, it is somewhat surprising that empirical basic research is lacking. Lerman and Vorndran (2002) and Hackenberg and DeFulio (2007), lamenting this lack of research, called for more systematic and thorough investigations of punishment contingencies. In this presentation, I will discuss research from our lab with pigeons in which we have examined the aversive characteristics of timeout and manipulated parameters of timeout, such as duration and type of timeout. I also will discuss how timeout procedures are modeled in the lab and discuss procedural considerations for this type of translational research.
Preclinical Evaluation of Opioid/Cannabinoid Mixtures for Treating Pain
(Basic Research)
DAVID R. MAGUIRE (University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio), Lisa R. Gerak (University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio), Charles Patrick France (University of Texas)
Abstract: Opioids are the gold standard for treating many types of pain, but their therapeutic utility is limited by numerous adverse effects, particularly those contributing to abuse and overdose. Cannabinoids such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the primary psychoactive constituent in cannabis, increase the potency for opioids to produce antinociceptive effects, suggesting that an opioid could be combined with a cannabinoid to treat pain. However, the therapeutic utility of drug mixtures depends upon whether drugs that enhance the antinociceptive effects of an opioid similarly increase its adverse effects. These studies evaluated the therapeutic potential of opioid/cannabinoid mixtures in nonhuman primates using highly translatable procedures to characterize their antinociceptive and abuse-related effects. Antinociceptive effects were measured using warm-water tail withdrawal, and abuse-related effects were studied using procedures, such as drug self-administration and food/drug choice, that have established predictive validity for different aspects of drug abuse. Results of these studies indicate that while cannabinoids enhance the antinociceptive effects of opioids, they do so without increasing abuse-related effects. Thus, opioid/cannabinoid mixtures could be used to treat pain while decreasing or possibly eliminating adverse effects that currently limit the legitimate medical use of opioids.
Does the Laboratory Analysis of Stimulus Equivalence Matter for Application?
(Basic Research)
CAROL PILGRIM (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Brittany Williams (Central Regional Hospital), Astrid La Cruz Montilla (Student)
Abstract: Basic laboratory analyses of equivalence phenomena can often seem esoteric and far-removed from the practicalities of hands-on applications. This paper will argue that attention to such lab findings can nevertheless yield powerful directions for establishing functional skills. Two experiments will be used to provide support for this position. First, a laboratory investigation demonstrated the formation of 8-member equivalence classes in four typically developing children as a function of training three-term contingencies with compound discrimination stimuli and compound class-specific consequences (i.e., selecting A1B1 or C1D1 produced R1r1; selecting A2B2 or C2D2 produced R2r2; and selecting A3B3 or C3D3 produced R3r3) and then D-E and D-F conditional discriminations. Second, the same approach was adapted to teaching English vocabulary to seven Spanish-speaking preschoolers. Simple discriminations were trained with compounds as discriminative stimuli (a written English word and a corresponding picture) and as class-specific reinforcers (a spoken English word and additional pictures). In a multiple-baseline across word-sets design, seven participants showed that printed English words, discriminative pictorial representations, and picture consequences became interchangeable equivalence-class members. Novel picture exemplars also functioned as class members, and five participants demonstrated emergent naming of pictures and printed words.



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