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.


30th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2004

Program by Invited Events: Saturday, May 29, 2004

Manage My Personal Schedule


Invited Paper Session #11
CE Offered: None

Cocaine, Dopamine Transport Inhibition, and Discovery Research on Medical Treatments for Cocaine Abuse

Saturday, May 29, 2004
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Beacon E
Area: BPH; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Amy Odum, Psy.D.
Chair: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
JONATHAN L. KATZ (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Dr. Jonathan L. Katz received his PhD from the University of Maryland in 1978, studying under Dr. James E. Barrett. Two post-doctoral years followed at Harvard Medical School under the direction of Dr. William H. Morse. Dr. Katz was a Research Investigator in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and joined the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 1984, where he is Acting Chief of the Medications Discovery Research Branch. He also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Katz is a member of several professional societies, including the Behavioral Pharmacology Society and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Psychopharmacology, and is Editor for Behavioral Pharmacology for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has published extensively, co-holds a patent on cocaine abuse medications, and serves on several professional committees. His current research interests are the pharmacological mechanisms underlying the behavioral effects of cocaine, in particular the respective roles of dopamine receptor subtypes, and the role of heterogeneity in dopamine transporter function.

Among the multiple actions of cocaine, evidence has suggested that the inhibition of dopamine uptake is the primary action underlying the behavioral effects of cocaine. This hypothesis indicates that drugs that inhibit the transport of dopamine will have behavioral effects, and abuse liability, similar to cocaine. Despite the evidence supporting the hypothesis, compounds exist that selectively bind to the dopamine transporter with high affinity and inhibit dopamine uptake, but have behavioral effects that differ from those of cocaine. These compounds generally show a decreased efficacy in stimulating locomotor activity, reduced or no efficacy in producing cocaine-like discriminative-stimulus effects, and are marginally effective as reinforcers in primates trained to self administer cocaine. These findings indicate important limitations to the dopamine transporter hypothesis of the behavioral effects of cocaine. Further, the delineation of differences in the pharmacology of various dopamine uptake inhibitors will provide insight into dopamine transporter function, the neurobiological substrates involved in cocaine abuse, and may provide leads for the discovery of medical treatments for cocaine abuse.

Invited Paper Session #12
CE Offered: None

Piaget and Skinner: Evolving into Complementarity

Saturday, May 29, 2004
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Area: DEV; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Hayne W. Reese, M.Ed.
Chair: Hayne W. Reese (West Virginia University)
WILLIS OVERTON (Temple University)
Dr. Willis (Bill) F. Overton is the Thaddeus Lincoln Bolton Professor of Psychology and Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Overton is currently Editor of Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, past Associate Editor of Developmental Psychology, and board member of many developmental and cognitive-developmental journals. He is also a Fellow of Divisions 7 (Developmental), 12 (Clinical), and 20 (Aging) of the American Psychological Association and Past President of the Jean Piaget Society. During his career, Dr. Overton has been a research scientist, teacher, and clinician. He has published over 100 books, chapters, and research articles, and has given more than 90 addresses to national and international organizations. His empirical research has focused on cognitive development, and specifically the development of reasoning. His theoretical writings have examined the nature and impact of metatheoretical assumptions on concepts and methods in psychology, including analyses of the structure of developmental theory, the place of general systems in our understanding of development, the assumptive base of the nature-nurture debate, and the role of reductionism in contemporary developmental methodology.

Historically, cognitive-developmental, and behavior analytic approaches to the study of human behavior and development have been viewed as incompatible with alternative theoretical and methodological perspectives. This presumed incompatibility has itself generally been understood as arising from divergent sets of metatheoretical assumptions that take the form of ontological and epistemological principles and, as coherent wholes, constitute worldviews. Classically cognitive-developmental approaches have been cast as deriving from an organismic worldview and behavior analytic approaches from a contextualist worldview. Previous attempts at uniting the two approaches have entailed privileging one and radically modifying the other. A more meaningful move toward integration requires a set of metatheoretical assumptions that transcends both worldviews, and, while maintaining their distinct qualities, unites them. Such a metatheoretical framework constitutes the base for a true rapprochement of cognitive-developmental and behavior analytic approaches. The integrative metatheoretical frame presented here has been termed relational metatheory. Relational metatheory entailing four basic principles of holism, the identity of opposites, the opposites of identity, and the synthesis of wholes identifies the process by which classically fundamental dichotomies can be transformed into co-equal indissociable complementarities, and how these complementarities can serve as relatively stable platforms for launching diverse forms of scientific inquiry.

Invited Paper Session #36
CE Offered: None

Stopping Kids from Killing Kids: Teaching Safety Skills to Children to Prevent Gun Play

Saturday, May 29, 2004
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
Beacon H
Area: CSE; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Raymond G. Miltenberger, Ph.D.
Chair: Michael B. Himle (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
RAYMOND G. MILTENBERGER (North Dakota State University)
Dr. Raymond Miltenberger received his bachelors degree in psychology from Wabash College in 1978 and his PhD in clinical psychology from Western Michigan University in 1985. After a predoctoral internship at the Kennedy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he took a position as assistant professor in the psychology department at North Dakota State University. Miltenberger is now a professor of psychology and Director of Clinical Training in the masters program at North Dakota State University. Miltenberger has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and numerous chapters in edited texts. In addition, he wrote a behavior modification textbook entitled Behavior Modification: Principles and Procedures (now in its 3rd edition) and edited a text with Doug Woods entitled, Tic Disorders, Trichotillomania, and Other Repetitive Behavior Disorders: Behavioral Approaches to Analysis and Treatment. Miltenberger’s research has focused on the analysis and treatment of repetitive behavior disorders (such as tics and trichotillomania) and evaluation of procedures for teaching safety skills to children (such as abduction prevention and the prevention of gun play). Miltenberger is the recipient of various awards including the Western Michigan University Distinguished Alumnus Award (in 2000) and the Chamber of Commerce NDSU Distinguished Professor Award (in 2001).

This presentation will address the problem of unintentional injury and death of children from firearms and risk factors that contribute to this problem. Two paths to prevention of childhood injury and death from firearms will be discussed: changing parent behavior and teaching prevention skills to children to prevent gun play. As most childhood firearm injuries and deaths occur as a result of gun play, my research has focused on teaching skills to prevent gun play. A series of studies will be presented in which procedures for teaching prevention skills to children are evaluated. These studies investigated the effectiveness of educational approaches and behavioral skills training approaches to teach young children a set of safety skills to use upon finding a firearm. An emphasis in the research was an evaluation of procedures for promoting generalization of the skills from the training setting to the natural environment. The findings from these studies will be presented and implications for future research and practice will be discussed. Learning Objectives Describe the behavioral skills training approach to teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play. Describe the results of research comparing educational approaches and behavioral skills training approaches for teaching safety skills to children to prevent gun play.

Invited Paper Session #88
CE Offered: None

The FOXP2 "Language" Gene and Chomsky's Mythical "Universal Grammar"

Saturday, May 29, 2004
4:30 PM–5:20 PM
Independence West
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Ted Schoneberger, Psy.D.
Chair: Ted Schoneberger (California State University, Stanislaus)
PHILIP LIEBERMAN (Brown University)
Philip Lieberman studied at MIT where he was one of the four students in the first class that Noam Chomsky taught. He received a PhD in linguistics, as well as degrees in electrical engineering, which entails the development of devices that actually work. His dissertation, “Intonation, Perception and Language” was one of the first books published by the MIT Press. In his 1984 book, The Biology and Evolution of Language, he noted the biological implausibility of Chomsky’s theories. Lieberman’s research on the evolution of human speech anatomy demonstrated its species-specific nature and the central linguistic role of speech. His subsequent research has focused on the subcortical basal ganglia structures of the brain that regulate motor control, syntax, and human cognitive ability. His most recent book, Human Language and Our Reptilian Brain: The Subcortical Bases of Speech, Syntax and Thought, presents the case for subcortical neural structures playing a central role in the neural circuits that confer the qualities that differentiate human beings from other species. He holds the Fred M. Seed chair as Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences at Brown University, where he also is a Professor of Anthropology. His other interests include the photographic documentation of Tibetan culture and art in the Himalaya.

Noam Chomskys followers claimed that the discovery of the FOXP2 language gene showed that human brain had a genetically transmitted, innate Universal Grammar that specified the syntax of all human languages. The real facts refute this claim. A syndrome a set of behavioral deficits that transcends language characterizes the deficits of the members of the extended family KE who have an anomalous version of this gene. These individuals are unable to sequence simple tongue and lip maneuvers, repeat two word sequences, comprehend sentences that have complex syntax, and many display cognitive inflexibility. Studies of mice and humans show that FOXP2 and similar genes govern the development of neural structures that play a critical role in regulating motor control, language and cognition. There can be no difference in the physiologic activity of these neural structures when a person acquires a complex motor act such as shifting the gears of a car, or the linguistic rules for English passive sentences. Neurophysiologic data show that we and other animals acquire motor skills by means of general cognitive processes such as associative learning and imitation. Syntax must be learned by the same means. Universal Grammar is a fable it has the same status as an innate capacity for driving a car.




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