Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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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Paper Session #102
Operant Acquisition and Operant Conditioning
Monday, September 30, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre, Level 2, C4
Area: EAB
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: todd m myers (PENDING)
Variations in Chamber Acclimation and Magazine Training Impact Autoshaping and Operant Performance
Domain: Basic Research
TODD M MYERS (U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense), Nathan Rice (USAMRICD)
Abstract: Magazine training is promulgated to be essential for hastening operant acquisition by establishing the food-correlated stimulus as a conditioned reinforcer for criterion lever-press responses and to also serve as a discriminative stimulus for prompt food retrieval, further enhancing temporal contiguity between the operant response and primary reinforcer. However, this assumption has not been verified via extensive empirical investigation. Therefore, we examined acquisition of operant lever pressing and performance under ratio and interval schedules in male Sprague-Dawley rats (n=284) as a function of varying pre-exposure conditions: no pre-exposure to the chamber or food pellets, pre-exposure to the chamber without food pellets, pre-exposure to the chamber with food pellets already in the pellet trough, or classic magazine training (intermittent food pellet delivery accompanied by the food-correlated stimulus). Several measures of learning corroborated the presumed benefits of magazine training, however, simple pre-exposure to the chamber with pellets in the magazine also promoted acquisition above the more limited pre-exposure conditions. Importantly, all subjects attained comparable levels of performance as training progressed, with terminal performance levels (on the variable-interval 90-s schedule) indistinguishable across all groups. The theoretical and practical relevance of these findings will be discussed.

CANCELED: Exploring Gaze Patterns as Operants

Domain: Basic Research
ISOBEL PORTER (Ulster University), Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University), Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University)

Reward based models of eye movements provide a promising new direction for research that are likely to underlie decisions about when and where to move the eyes. Whilst the generality of the experimental paradigm of behaviour analysis would suggest that eye movements are sensitive to reward, few studies have investigated if this is the case with eye movements, and more specifically, gaze patterns. The two experiments presented were designed to investigate both the training of gaze allocation and the potential of eye movements as an operant. Using a Remote Eye Detection (RED) video-based eye tracking system a three stage resurgence procedure was implemented. Results showed that training of Response A and Response B followed a typical training pattern, in the first training trial locating the target stimulus took significant time across participants, latency to respond decreased rapidly and became relatively stable during the following trials. During the Resurgence phase, some interesting preliminary findings are worth discussion. Implications and further research will be discussed, however, it seems highly plausible that eye movements can be trained and are sensitive to reward.




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