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Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Sarah Beurms, Frits Traets, Jan De Houwer, Tom Beckers
Symmetry refers to the observation that subjects will derive B-A (e.g., in the presence of B, select A) after being trained on A-B (e.g., in the presence of A, select B). Whereas symmetry is readily shown in humans, it has been difficult to demonstrate in nonhuman animals. This difficulty, at least in pigeons, may result from responding to specific stimulus properties that change when sample and comparison stimuli switch roles between training and testing. In three experiments with humans, we investigated to what extent human responding is influenced by the temporal location of stimuli using a successive matching-to-sample procedure...
October 6, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Erica N Feuerbacher, Clive D L Wynne
The unique relationship between dog and owner has been demonstrated in several experimental procedures, including tests in which dogs are left alone or with a stranger, tests of dogs' appeasement or social approach when petted by their owner or a stranger, and their ability to learn when taught by their owner or a stranger. In all cases, dogs responded differently to their owner, which has been referred to as a specific attachment, and likely a product of a prolonged history of reinforcement. In the current study, we used a concurrent choice paradigm in which dogs could interact with two people, both of whom provided the same petting interaction, to test whether owned dogs would prefer their owner over a stranger and whether the familiarity of the testing context would influence preference...
September 4, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Jonathan Buriticá, Cristiano V Dos Santos
The concept of reinforcement value summarizes the effect of different variables, such as reinforcement delay, reinforcement magnitude, and deprivation level, on behavior. In the present set of experiments, we evaluated the effect of reinforcement devaluation on performance under FI schedules. The literature on timing and reinforcement value suggests that devaluation generates longer expected times to reinforcement than the same intervals trained under control conditions. We devalued reinforcement with delay in Experiments 1A, 1B, and 2, and diminished deprivation in Experiments 3A and 3B...
August 29, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Andrew R Craig, Kaitlyn O Browning, Timothy A Shahan
Resurgence refers to the recurrence of an extinguished target behavior following subsequent suspension of alternative reinforcement. Delivery of reinforcers during extinction of alternative behavior has been shown to mitigate resurgence. The present experiment aimed to determine whether delivering stimuli associated with reinforcers during resurgence testing similarly mitigates resurgence. Three groups of rats pressed target levers for food according to variable-interval 15-s schedules during Phase 1. In Phase 2, lever pressing was extinguished, and an alternative nose-poke response produced alternative reinforcement according to a variable-interval 15-s schedule...
August 29, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Adrienne M Jennings, Caio F Miguel
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of tact and intraverbal training on the establishment of generalized equivalence classes. Seventeen college students were exposed to tact training, listener testing, and intraverbal training (A'B' and B'C') in two experiments. Visual-visual matching-to-sample and intraverbal tests measured performances consistent with the formation of equivalence classes. Generalization was assessed with four novel sets of stimuli. In the second experiment, matching-to-sample tests for baseline relations (AB, BC) were eliminated to control for the possibility that equivalence classes were developed through exposure to these visual stimulus-stimulus relations...
August 29, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Carlos R X Cançado, Josele Abreu-Rodrigues, Raquel Moreira Aló, Flávia Hauck, Adam H Doughty
The effects of the response-reinforcer dependency on resistance to change were studied in three experiments with rats. In Experiment 1, lever pressing produced reinforcers at similar rates after variable interreinforcer intervals in each component of a two-component multiple schedule. Across conditions, in the fixed component, all reinforcers were response-dependent; in the alternative component, the percentage of response-dependent reinforcers was 100, 50 (i.e., 50% response-dependent and 50% response-independent) or 10% (i...
August 17, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
James S MacDonall
Some have reported changing the schedule at one alternative of a concurrent schedule changed responding at the other alternative (Catania, 1969), which seems odd because no contingencies were changed there. When concurrent schedules are programmed using two schedules, one associated with each alternative that operate continuously, changing the schedule at one alternative also changes the switch schedule at the other alternative. Thus, changes in responding at the constant alternative could be due to the change in the switch schedule...
August 14, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Christopher A Podlesnik, Ludmila Miranda-Dukoski, C K Jonas Chan, Vikki J Bland, John Y H Bai
Differential-reinforcement treatments reduce target problem behavior in the short term but at the expense of making it more persistent long term. Basic and translational research based on behavioral momentum theory suggests that combining features of stimuli governing an alternative response with the stimuli governing target responding could make target responding less persistent. However, changes to the alternative stimulus context when combining alternative and target stimuli could diminish the effectiveness of the alternative stimulus in reducing target responding...
August 3, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Adam E Fox, Elizabeth G E Kyonka
Verbal rules or instructions often exert obvious and meaningful control over human behavior. Sometimes instructions benefit the individual by enabling faster acquisition of a skill or by obviating an aversive consequence. However, research has also suggested a clear disadvantage: "insensitivity" to changing underlying contingencies. The two experiments described here investigated the variables that control initial rule-following behavior and rule-following insensitivity. When the initial rule was inaccurate, behavior was consistent with the rule for approximately half of participants and all participants' behavior was mostly insensitive to changing contingencies...
August 3, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Howard Rachlin
The question whether talking to yourself is thinking is considered from two viewpoints: radical behaviorism and teleological behaviorism. For radical behaviorism, following Skinner (1945), mental events such as 'thinking' may be explained in terms of private behavior occurring within the body, ordinarily unobservable by other people; thus, radical behaviorism may identify talking to yourself with thinking. However, to be consistent with its basic principles, radical behaviorism must hold that private behavior, hence thinking, is identical with covert muscular, speech movements (rather than proprioception of those movements)...
August 3, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Emma Beeby, Brent Alsop
Choice behavior among two alternatives has been widely researched, but fewer studies have examined the effect of multiple (more than two) alternatives on choice. Two experiments investigated whether changing the overall reinforcer rate affected preference among three and four concurrently scheduled alternatives. Experiment 1 trained six pigeons on concurrent schedules with three alternatives available simultaneously. These alternatives arranged reinforcers in a ratio of 9:3:1 with the configuration counterbalanced across pigeons...
July 31, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Sarah Cowie, Michael Davison, Douglas Elliffe
The extent to which a stimulus exerts control over behavior depends largely on its informativeness. However, when reinforcers have discriminative properties, they often exert less control over behavior than do other less reliable stimuli such as elapsed time. We investigated why less reliable cues in the present often overshadow stimulus control by more reliable cues presented in the recent past, by manipulating the reliability and duration of stimulus presentations. Five pigeons worked on a modified concurrent schedule in which the location of the response that produced the last reinforcer was a discriminative stimulus for the likely time and location of the next reinforcer...
September 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
David P Jarmolowicz, Jennifer L Hudnall, Luanne Hale, Stephen C Fowler, Marco Bortolato, Shea M Lemley, Michael J Sofis
Obesity is a major public health problem, which, like many forms of addiction, is associated with an elevated tendency to choose smaller immediate rather than larger delayed rewards, a response pattern often referred to as excessive delay discounting. Although some accounts of delay discounting conceptualize this process as impulsivity (placing the emphasis on overvaluing the smaller immediate reward), others have conceptualized delay discounting as an executive function (placing the emphasis on delayed rewards failing to retain their value)...
September 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Masanori Kono
Many studies that have investigated performance under reinforcement schedules have measured response rate or interresponse time, which reflect the temporal dimension of responding; however, relatively few studies have examined other dimensions. The present study investigated the effects of fixed-interval schedules on the location of pigeons' pecking response. A circular response area 22.4 cm in diameter was used so that the pecking responses were effective over a wide range. Pigeons were exposed to a fixed-interval schedule whose requirement was systematically varied between conditions...
September 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Jonathan W Pinkston, Benjamin M Libman
Historically, effort has been viewed as aversive. Most supporting evidence comes from studies demonstrating increased force/effort requirements reduce operant responding. Changes in force/effort requirements, however, are often accompanied by changes in response definition when mechanical devices are used to define the response. As a consequence, responses measured at one point in a study may go unmeasured at other points. In an alternative approach, we used a continuous measurement strategy that provided a means to fix the threshold force defining the response class and simultaneously allowed independent manipulation of the force criteria required to produce reinforcement...
July 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Michael E Young
Multilevel modeling provides the ability to simultaneously evaluate the discounting of individuals and groups using indifference point data. After considering the conditions when weaknesses emerge in estimating individual discounting as a prelude to estimating group discounting, examples are provided that indicate that multilevel modeling improves estimation in the presence of variability and missing data, and when trying to fit two-parameter discounting functions. Concrete examples of how to fit nonlinear multilevel models are provided to help researchers in the adoption of these methods...
July 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Aaron Kheifets, David Freestone, C R Gallistel
In three experiments with mice ( Mus musculus ) and rats (Rattus norvigicus), we used a switch paradigm to measure quantitative properties of the interval-timing mechanism. We found that: 1) Rodents adjusted the precision of their timed switches in response to changes in the interval between the short and long feed latencies (the temporal goalposts). 2) The variability in the timing of the switch response was reduced or unchanged in the face of large trial-to-trial random variability in the short and long feed latencies...
July 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Kasra Zarei, Karen L Elliott, Sanam Zarei, Bernd Fritzsch, James H J Buchholz
Prolonged space flight, specifically microgravity, presents a problem for space exploration. Animal models with altered connections of the vestibular ear, and thus altered gravity sensation, would allow the examination of the effects of microgravity and how various countermeasures can establish normal function. We describe an experimental apparatus to monitor the effects of ear manipulations to generate asymmetric gravity input on the tadpole escape response. To perform the movement pattern analysis, an imaging apparatus was developed that uses a high-speed camera to obtain time-resolved, high-resolution images of tadpole movements...
June 27, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Stephanie Gomes-Ng, Douglas Elliffe, Sarah Cowie
In concurrent schedules, reinforcers are often followed by a brief period of heightened preference for the just-productive alternative. Such 'preference pulses' may reflect local effects of reinforcers on choice. However, similar pulses may occur after nonreinforced responses, suggesting that pulses after reinforcers are partly unrelated to reinforcer effects. McLean, Grace, Pitts, and Hughes (2014) recommended subtracting preference pulses after responses from preference pulses after reinforcers, to construct residual pulses that represent only reinforcer effects...
June 1, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Matthew C Bell, Federico Sanabria
Primates take longer to choose between alternatives with smaller differences in value. This effect-a particular instance of the distance effect in symbolic comparisons-has not been replicated in birds. Instead, birds appear to respond independently to each alternative, such that the latency to choose depends primarily on the alternative of highest value. Three experiments tested for the distance effect in pigeons under conditions not previously considered. Experiment 1 presented pigeons with forced- and binary free-choice trials, where each alternative was one of three possible delays to reinforcement (4, 8, and 16 s)...
May 24, 2017: Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
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