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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

Previous Page


Invited Panel #132
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement: A Panel with Discussion
Saturday, May 28, 2022
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 151A/B
Area: SCI; Domain: Theory
Chair: M. Christopher Newland (Auburn University)
CE Instructor: M. Christopher Newland, Ph.D.
Panelists: M. CHRISTOPHER NEWLAND (Auburn University), JOHN FALLIGANT (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine), BRENT KAPLAN (University of Kentucky)

This session, a follow-up to Peter Killeen’s tutorial on Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement, will offer examples of MPR’s application and thoughts about potential uses. Why consider applying MPR? It is a comprehensive theory of behavior that is derived from three elementary, common-sensical principles. The data required for model fitting, which come from a series of fixed-ratios or a progressive ratio schedule, are acquired quickly. The ability of its parameters to distinguish reinforcer efficacy, how reinforcers select recent behavior, and motor characteristics of behavior can yield insight into behavioral determinants. Chris Newland will describe its application in characterizing the actions of drugs and contaminants that act on the nervous system, John Michael Falligant will explore its potential applications to applied behavior analysis, and Brent Kaplan will describe how it might address issues in substance abuse.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Basic and translational investigators interested in applying MPR, board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe what the parameters of the MPR model say about behavior; (2) describe how it has been applied in several arenas; (3) describe potential areas where MPR might be applied.
M. CHRISTOPHER NEWLAND (Auburn University)
Chris Newland directs a laboratory to investigate drugs and contaminants that affect behavioral and brain development using experimental models. With his students, he has reported troubling impairments in behavioral plasticity, choice, and learning that can be traced to low-level methylmercury exposure during the prenatal and adolescent periods or drug exposure during adolescence. For example, he reported that methylmercury during gestion accelerates aging long after exposure ends. He is also involved in a project to reduce the use of psychotropic medicine among children in foster care. Dr. Newland has served on numerous panels guiding federal environmental policy as well as grant review panels for the NIH and the EPA. He has played leadership roles in the Society of Toxicology and the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He teaches courses at all levels in behavioral neuroscience, psychopharmacology, conditioning and learning, and clinical psychopharmacology in developmental disabilities.
JOHN FALLIGANT (Kennedy Krieger Institute; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)
Dr. Falligant is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Senior Behavior Analyst in the inpatient Neurobehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. The Neurobehavioral Programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who suffer from severe behavioral dysfunction, including self-injury. Dr. Falligant’s clinical work and research is focused on the assessment and treatment of behavioral dysfunction in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. He is also interested in translational behavioral research involving models of choice behavior and impulsivity, reward sensitivity, behavioral persistence, and the identification and quantification of predictive behavioral markers. Dr. Falligant is a clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). He received his Ph.D. from Auburn University. He completed his Doctoral Internship and a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
BRENT KAPLAN (University of Kentucky)

Brent Kaplan received his Ph.D. in behavioral psychology at the University of Kansas and subsequently completed his postdoctoral training at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and a member of the Healthier Futures Laboratory. Brent’s research focuses on applying behavioral economic concepts and methodology to better understand alcohol and cigarette substance use and treatments. His interests also include developing and disseminating tools for analyzing and interpreting behavioral economic data. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Perspectives on Behavior Science and currently serves on the executive committee for Division 28 Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse of the American Psychological Association.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh