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.


37th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2011

Program by Invited Tutorials: Monday, May 30, 2011

Manage My Personal Schedule


Invited Tutorial #326
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Applied Behavior Analysis in the Zoological Environment
Monday, May 30, 2011
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Korbel Ballroom 2A (Convention Center)
Area: AAB/PRA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Kenneth Ramirez, Other
Chair: Christy A. Alligood (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Presenting Authors: : KENNETH T. RAMIREZ (John G. Shedd Aquarium)

In the last several decades the use of applied behavior principles has grown in importance and sophistication in the zoo and aquarium world. The modern zoological facility often employs a curator level position to oversee behavior management and enrichment programs. Although the basic principles and theories used in zoos and aquariums are not new to the community of behavior analysts, the practical applications and techniques are just emerging and becoming more commonplace in the zoological world. Early application of training principles was primarily used in shows and educational programming. Skilled practitioners of applied behavior principles have also been instrumental in improving animal health care through training exotic animals to assist in their own medical treatment. Perhaps most notable is the increased used of operant and classical conditioning principles in improving the effectiveness of enrichment practices, expanding research capabilities, and advancing wildlife conservation programs. These examples will be used to highlight the growing role of applied behavior analysis in providing excellent animal care.

KENNETH T. RAMIREZ (John G. Shedd Aquarium)
Ken Ramirez is the executive vice-president of animal collections and animal training, develops and supervises animal care programs, staff training and development as well as public presentation programs for the entire animal collection at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. A 30+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ken is a biologist and animal behaviorist who has worked both as a behavioral curator and as a consultant to many zoo and aquarium programs throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close affiliation to pet training throughout his career. He hosted two successful seasons of the pet training television series Talk to the Animals that compared pet training to the important work done with training and caring for animals in zoological facilities. He has also recently worked closely with several search and rescue dog organizations, service dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.
Invited Tutorial #327
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Improving Practitioners' Access to and Experience With the Research Literature
Monday, May 30, 2011
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Four Seasons 4 (Convention Center)
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: James Carr, Ph.D.
Chair: Jennifer M. Asmus (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Presenting Authors: : JAMES E. CARR (Auburn University)

The profession of applied behavior analysis has undergone a number of exciting changes in recent years. The demand for our services, growth of the certification program, and development of new graduate programs have all combined to increase the number of new behavior analytic practitioners. In fact, there are currently approximately 8,000 individuals who hold certification in behavior analysis, an increase of several thousand from just a few years ago. Despite historical and ethical obligations to base behavior analytic practice on peer-reviewed evidence, a number of barriers sometimes make this difficult. For example, a number of clinically relevant experimental questions have not yet been answered in the literature. In addition, although the behavioral literature is replete with examples of effective treatment, there is a paucity of peer-reviewed published guidance on how to select these treatments given specific clinical circumstances. Finally, although graduate students in behavior analysis often receive training on how to critically consume the research literature, there are a number of obstacles to their access to the literature after graduation. In this presentation, I will describe several scholarly mechanisms through which behavioral scientists and senior clinicians can influence the behavior of new practitioners. Examples will be provided in the areas of developing clinical decision-making guidelines assisting practitioners in accessing the research literature.

JAMES E. CARR (Auburn University)
James E. Carr, Ph.D., BCBA-D is an associate professor of psychology at Auburn University and co-director of its applied behavior analysis graduate program. His current research and clinical interests include the behavioral treatment of autism and intellectual disabilities, verbal behavior, and practitioner training. Dr. Carr has published over 100 scientific articles and is currently a member of the boards of directors of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He is currently an associate editor of the journals Behavior Analysis and Practice and The Behavior Analyst and is a past associate editor of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dr. Carr received his Ph.D. in 1996 from Florida State University and previously served on the psychology faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-1999) and Western Michigan University (1999-2008).
Invited Tutorial #356
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Delay Discounting by Humans and Other Animals: Does the Species Matter?
Monday, May 30, 2011
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
401/402 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Leonard Green, Ph.D.
Chair: Matthew C. Bell (Santa Clara University)
Presenting Authors: : LEONARD GREEN (Washington University)

When rats, pigeons, and people choose between immediate and delayed rewards, the subjective value of the delayed reward decreases as time to its receipt increases. This discounting of the delayed reward is well described in all three species by a hyperboloid function. Interestingly, we have observed a magnitude effect (larger delayed rewards are discounted less steeply than smaller delayed rewards) with humans but not with rats or pigeons. In addition, in humans, if an additional waiting period is added prior to both rewards, thus creating a delay common to both alternatives, rate of discounting decreases as the common delay increases. We examined the effect of adding a common delay on discounting in pigeons. When the signals for the time to the sooner and later alternatives were different, the pigeons (in contrast to humans) showed increases in discounting rate with increases in the common delay. When the signal for the common delay was the same for both alternatives, however, rate of discounting decreased as the common delay increased, a result consistent with that obtained with humans. Taken together, our findings demonstrate profound similarities between delay discounting in humans and pigeons, arguing for the importance of conducting both human and nonhuman research.

LEONARD GREEN (Washington University)
Leonard Green received his BA from the City College of New York and his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  After completing post-doctoral research, Green ventured west of the Mississippi (although he thought he was still east of the river) where he is Professor of Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of Undergraduate Studies.  Green’s research concerns choice and decision-making in rats, pigeons, and people, with a particular interest in self-control and impulsivity.  He is one of the developers of behavioral economics, and is co-author of the book Economic Choice Theory: An Experimental Analysis of Animal Behavior and editor of Advances in Behavioral Economics, the third volume of which is subtitled Substance Use and Abuse.  He has been Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Associate Editor of the Pavlovian Journal of Biological Science, and Consulting Editor for Behavior and Philosophy.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior (SQAB), is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and the Association for Psychological Science, and is President of the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. 
Invited Tutorial #402
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Behavior Economics, Genes and Cannabinoids: Environmental and Biochemical Contributors to Food Reward in the Context of Obesity
Monday, May 30, 2011
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
401/402 (Convention Center)
Area: BPH/EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Erin Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Chair: Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University)
Presenting Authors: : ERIN B. RASMUSSEN (Idaho State University)

Obesity is the result of a long-term pattern of a situation in which food is especially reinforcing and exercise is not. The cannabinoid neurotransmitter system plays a role in food reinforcement and obesity, though much of the research on this is limited to free-food intake as a dependent variable. This presentation will review findings from our laboratory in two areas. One, we will describe attempts to isolate behavioral mechanisms involved with food reinforcement in animal and human studies using behavioral economic experiments, including demand analysis, the delay discounting procedure, and choice. Two, we will discuss the role of cannabinoid drugs (e.g., rimonabant and 2-AG) on food reinforcement, food-associated stimuli, and exercise as a reinforcer. Throughout the presentation, we will include data from the obese Zucker rat, a genetic model of obesity, to illustrate genetically-influenced differences in food and exercise reinforcement, as well as behavioral sensitivities to cannabinoid drugs. A pattern from these studies emerges: the more effortful the arrangement of food is, the less genes play a role in food consumption.

ERIN B. RASMUSSEN (Idaho State University)
Dr. Erin B. Rasmussen is an associate professor of psychology at Idaho State University. She conducts research on the behavioral pharmacology and behavioral economics of food and exercise reinforcement using animal models of obesity, as well as humans, with special emphasis on drugs that affect the cannabinoid and opioid neurotransmitter systems. She has published her research in such journals as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior, Behavioural Pharmacology, and Behavioural Processes. She is the current president of the Four Corners Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Rasmussen received her PhD in 2001 from Auburn University under the direction of Dr. Christopher Newland. She previously served on the faculty of the College of Charleston (2001-2004).
Invited Tutorial #405
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Organizational Behavior Management Consulting-Some of the Challenges of Growth
Monday, May 30, 2011
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
607 (Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Terry McSween, Ph.D.
Chair: Heather M. McGee (Western Michigan University)
Presenting Authors: : TERRY E. MCSWEEN (Quality Safety Edge)

Growth creates unique challenges for behavioral consulting firms. As Quality Safety Edge (QSE) has grown from a practice of three friends to a multi-million dollar consulting firm, it has struggled with a number of those challenges. The first challenge for all businesses is generating business. In particular, international sales created a special set of issues. A second challenge, growth meant adding consultants, which created the challenge of "industrializing the service," that is, standardizing the approach and materials so that all consultants used a consistent approach in providing services. The third challenge was a bit more subtle. As consultants have success with an implementation strategy, they tend to adapt that approach, and over time, they begin to have too much consistency and lose the flexibility to modify their plans in ways that might better serve the customer. Finally, implementing behavioral solutions internationally requires a sensitivity to cultural differences. Dr. McSween will describe QSE's experience with these challenges and what has been done to address them.

TERRY E. MCSWEEN (Quality Safety Edge)
Dr. Terry E. McSween is President and CEO of Quality Safety Edge, an organization that helps improve business success and profitability through leadership development and behavioral safety. He has developed an original method for creating ownership for organizational change through local-level, employee involvement in the design process. His approach results in increased participation in safety and performance improvement efforts, minimizing resistance to organizational change. Dr. McSween has received numerous awards for his work in safety improvement. He received the 2009 Life Time Achievement and 2001 Significant Contribution awards from the Organizational Behavior Network. He also was awarded the Johnson & Higgins Scrivener Award for his article “Improve your safety program with a behavioral approach” published in Hydrocarbon Processing from American Society of Safety Engineers for the outstanding technical article on safety and health published outside of the society. His book, The Values-Based Safety Process, second edition, was published in 2003 by John Wiley & Sons of New York, NY.
Invited Tutorial #407
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Verbal Behavior Development as We Understand It Now
Monday, May 30, 2011
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Four Seasons 4 (Convention Center)
Area: VRB/AUT; Domain: Theory
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: R. Greer, Ph.D.
Chair: Anna I. Petursdottir (Texas Christian University)
Presenting Authors: : R. DOUGLAS GREER (Teachers College, Columbia University)

In the first decade of the 21st century we advanced understanding of how experiences lead to the emergence of verbal developmental cusps and cusps that are new learning capabilities. Protocols for preverbal developmental cusps lead to: listener cusps involving conditioned reinforcement for observing responses and generalized imitation as foundation for the joining of observing and producing. Other protocols (a) induce echoic-to-mands and tacts, join see-do with hear-echo, (b) induce tacts, transform motivational control across mands and tacts, (c) induce autoclitics frames, induce non-scripted social verbal exchanges in non-instructional settings, (d) induce verbal observational learning, induce conditioned reinforcement for tacts, (e) transform stimulus control across the listener and speaker within the skin, (f) induce incidental learning of new words for things (Naming), (g) join Naming and reading comprehension, (h) induce functional writing, and evoke verbal stimulus control in complex problem solving in children and the scientist. Current evidence suggests there is "no poverty of stimulus:" the stimulus control is located in indirect or remote contact with basic principles of behavior made possible by certain experiences, experiences that can be provided by expert behavior analysts. I shall describe how what we know has changed what can be done.

R. DOUGLAS GREER (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Dr. Greer has taught at Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of the Arts and Sciences for 41 years, sponsored 155 PhD dissertations, taught over 2,000 master students, founded the Fred S. Keller School, authored 13 books and 155 research and conceptual papers, served on the editorial board of 10 journals, and developed the CABAS� school model for special education and the Accelerated Independent Model for general education (K-5). He has received the American Psychology Association�s Fred S. Keller Award for Distinguished Contributions to Education, International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Contributions to The Fred S. Keller School, and May 5 as the R. Douglas Greer Day by the Westchester County Legislature. He is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International and a CABAS� Board Certified Senior Behavior Analyst and Senior Research Scientist. He has taught courses at the universities of Almeria, Grenada, Cadiz, Madrid, Oviedo, and Salamanca (in Spain), Oslo Norway Askerhaus College, University of Ibidan in Nigeria, and University of Wales at Bangor. Greer has served as the keynote speaker at the at the Experimental Analysis of Behavior Group in England, the National Conferences on Behavior Analysis in Ireland, Israel, Korea, Norway, and in several states in the USA. He contributed to the development of several schools based entirely on scientific procedures and comprehensive curriculum based assessment in the USA, Ireland, Sicily, England, and Spain.
Invited Tutorial #430
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Autism as a Social Learning Disorder: From Research and Practice to Interpretation
Monday, May 30, 2011
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
Four Seasons 4 (Convention Center)
Area: AUT/TPC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: William Ahearn, Ph.D.
Chair: Jeffrey H. Tiger (Louisiana State University)
Presenting Authors: : WILLIAM H. AHEARN (New England Center for Children)

Research into the behavioral characteristics of autism has revealed evidence that this disorder represents a unique form of social learning deficit. Children with autism typically have communicative and social deficits and investigations have detailed how early these deficits appear. At 6 months of age, distinct differences are apparent in the nature of stimuli that are salient to children who will subsequently be diagnosed with autism. This tutorial will review research into early markers of social impairment in individuals with autism. Some of the topics discussed will include attention, joint attention, and social interaction. A review of teaching procedures for establishing these critical social responses will follow. During this review some of the challenges that clinicians face in not only producing and maintaining these skills but in fostering generalization of them will be discussed. Then a conceptual analysis of these social deficits will be presented to coalesce research findings, both structural and functional in nature, into an interpretation of autism as a social learning disorder. The purpose of this interpretation will be to highlight the most pressing matters faced by clinicians in designing effective instruction in social behavior while offering some possible solutions to these challenges.

WILLIAM H. AHEARN (New England Center for Children)
Bill Ahearn, Ph.D., BCBA-D, joined The New England Center for Children in August 1996, and currently serves at NECC as the Director of Research. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor in Northeastern University�s Master's program in Applied Behavior Analysis and Adjunct Faculty in Western New England College's doctoral program. Bill was named the 2009 American Psychological Association - Division 25 awardee for Enduring Contributions to Applied Behavioral Research. Bill is the ACE coordinator for providing BCBA continuing education at NECC and for the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy. He also serves on the Autism Advisory Committees for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. Bill�s research interests include social skills in children with autism, verbal behavior, assessment and treatment of stereotypy, severe problem behavior, and pediatric feeding difficulties. He is also interested in resistance to change, behavioral economics, and conditioned reinforcement. His work has been published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavioral Interventions, Behavior Modification, The Lancet, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and has written book chapters on teaching children with autism and pediatric feeding problems in children with autism. Bill is currently on the Editorial Boards for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and Behavioral Interventions and has served as a guest reviewer for several other journals. He has also been Principal Investigator on an NIH-funded grant with Dr. William Dube, is funded through by the Organization for Autism Research along with Dr. Becky MacDonald, and is a past-President of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy.



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