Association for Behavior Analysis International

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Seventh International Conference; Merida, Mexico; 2013

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #59
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

Empirical Support for an Operant Theory of Adjunctive Behavior

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
9:30 AM–10:20 AM
Yucatan II (Fiesta Americana)
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Ricardo Pellón, Ph.D.
Chair: Javier Nieto Gutierrez (National Automonous University of Mexico)
RICARDO PELLÓN (Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia)
Ricardo Pellón earned a degree in psychology in 1980 and in 1987 presented his Ph.D. in experimental psychology, both at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). He has held research positions at the University of Wales College of Cardiff, United Kingdom (1981-1984) and the Addiction Research Centre of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD, (1990-1991). In 2005-2006, he spent a sabbatical at Arizona State University. He is currently a professor of psychology at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain, where he directs an animal behavior lab working predominantly (but not exclusively) on animal models of excessive behavior, such as schedule-induced polydipsia and activity-based anorexia, both using laboratory rats as experimental subjects. He has published in international journals in the areas of learning and behavior, behavioral pharmacology, and neural substrates of behavior.

Killeen and Pellón (2013) have developed a model that is based on the hypothesis that adjunctive behavior is maintained by delayed reinforcement, occurring despite the absence of any programmed contingency between the behavior and the consequence. The best studied example of adjunctive behavior is schedule-induced polydipsia (SIP), and here data are presented that support the idea that SIP can be maintained by reinforcement. In a first study, rats developed high levels of adjunctive drinking by delivering a pellet of food 30 seconds after the completion of 20 licks to a water-bottle spout. The acquisition of adjunctive drinking was greater than in a group that had such positive contingency on only half of the trials, and even greater than in a yoked-control group that received the food pellets irrespective of its own licking. In a second study, by default a single pellet of food was delivered at regular 90-second intervals but the inter-food interval could be shortened depending on the rats' licking. The degree of contingency between licking the bottle spout and hastening the delivery of the food pellet was 100%, 50% and 0% for separate groups, with the development of SIP positively related to those different contingencies. Drinking is decreased if it forestalls reinforcement, enhanced if it hastens reinforcement, and can do so at delay characteristic of those present in studies of SIP. We are currently complementing these studies by testing the idea that water might derive reinforcing properties through its association with food.

Target Audience:

Anyone interested in adjunctive behavior or delayed reinforcement.

Learning Objectives: Forthcoming.



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