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C M Bradshaw
Rats were trained under a discrete-trials adjusting-magnitude schedule in which a response on lever A delivered either a larger or a smaller reinforcer (qA1 and qA2) with equal probability, while a response on B delivered a reinforcer whose size qB was adjusted according to the rats' choices. When A was preferred in a given block of trials, qB was increased in the following block; when B was preferred, qB was reduced in the following block. The oscillating changes in qB, analysed by the Fourier transform, could be described by a power spectrum with a dominant period of about 50 trial blocks...
April 2, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Rose A Mason, Alana G Schnitz, Howard P Wills, Raia Rosenbloom, Debra M Kamps, Darcey Bast
Ensuring educational progress for students with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities requires exposure to well executed evidence-based practices. This necessitates that the special education workforce, including paraprofessionals, be well-trained. Yet evidence regarding effective training mechanisms for paraprofessionals is limited. A multiple baseline design across five teachers was used to evaluate the impact of online instructional modules and a Practice-Based Coaching (PBC) model with teacher-as-coach on their paraprofessionals' fidelity of discrete trial training (DTT)...
March 14, 2017: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Justin B Leaf, Joseph H Cihon, Aditt Alcalay, Erin Mitchell, Donna Townley-Cochran, Kevin Miller, Ronald Leaf, Mitchell Taubman, John McEachin
The present study evaluated the effects of instructive feedback embedded within a group discrete trial teaching to teach tact relations to nine children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder using a nonconcurrent multiple-baseline design. Dependent variables included correct responses for: primary targets (directly taught), secondary targets (taught via instructive feedback), primary observational targets (directly taught to other members of the group), and secondary observational targets (taught via instructive feedback provided to other members of the group)...
February 17, 2017: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
K Richard Young, Keith C Radley, William R Jenson, Richard P West, Susan K Clare
In 2 studies, we evaluated the feasibility and efficacy of peer-mediated, school-based discrete trial training (DTT) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In the first, 6 typically developing elementary-age students were trained to use DTT procedures to teach target academic skills to 3 students with ASD who had been educated in a self-contained setting. A multiple probe-across-tutors design was applied to evaluate the accuracy with which the tutors implemented the DTT protocol. Results of the study indicated that training was effective in increasing the integrity of implementation of the DTT protocol...
December 2016: School Psychology Quarterly
Luana F Nunes, Kevin Gurney
One of the most widely implemented models for multi-alternative decision-making is the multihypothesis sequential probability ratio test (MSPRT). It is asymptotically optimal, straightforward to implement, and has found application in modelling biological decision-making. However, the MSPRT is limited in application to discrete ('trial-based'), non-time-varying scenarios. By contrast, real world situations will be continuous and entail stimulus non-stationarity. In these circumstances, decision-making mechanisms (like the MSPRT) which work by accumulating evidence, must be able to discard outdated evidence which becomes progressively irrelevant...
August 2016: Royal Society Open Science
Joseph M Lambert, Bailey A Copeland, Erica L Karp, Crystal I Finley, Nealetta J Houchins-Juarez, Jennifer R Ledford
Individuals with developmental disabilities successfully participate in fewer recreation activities, including sports activities, than their typically developing peers. Although a functional basketball-playing repertoire might increase social opportunities and physical health for these individuals, no research has outlined a behavior-analytic strategy for teaching this sport. In our study, we taught a 13-year-old male diagnosed with autism to play basketball. During phase 1, we employed discrete-trial training to establish proficiency with nine fundamental basketball skills (i...
September 2016: Behavior Analysis in Practice
Robert Drozd, Przemyslaw E Cieslak, Michal Rychlik, Jan Rodriguez Parkitna, Rafal Rygula
Although the cognitive theory has implicated judgment bias in various psychopathologies, its role in decision making under risk remains relatively unexplored. In the present study, we assessed the effects of cognitive judgment bias on risky choices in rats. First, we trained and tested the animals on the rat version of the probability-discounting (PD) task. During discrete trials, the rats chose between two levers; a press on the "small/certain" lever always resulted in the delivery of one reward pellet, whereas a press on the "large/risky" lever resulted in the delivery of four pellets...
2016: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Alliston K Reid, Sara E Futch, Katherine M Ball, Aubrey G Knight, Martha Tucker
We examined the controlling factors that allow a prompted skill to become autonomous in a discrete-trials implementation of Touchette's (1971) progressively delayed prompting procedure, but our subjects were rats rather than children with disabilities. Our prompted skill was a left-right lever-press sequence guided by two panel lights. We manipulated (a) the effectiveness of the guiding lights prompt and (b) the presence or absence of a progressively delayed prompt in four groups of rats. The less effective prompt yielded greater autonomy than the more effective prompt...
March 2017: Learning & Behavior
Thomas S Higbee, Ana Paula Aporta, Alice Resende, Mateus Nogueira, Celso Goyos, Joy S Pollard
Discrete-trial instruction (DTI) is a behavioral method of teaching young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that has received a significant amount of research support. Because of a lack of qualified trainers in many areas of the world, researchers have recently begun to investigate alternative methods of training professionals to implement behavioral teaching procedures. One promising training method is interactive computer training, in which slides with recorded narration, video modeling, and embedded evaluation of content knowledge are used to teach a skill...
December 2016: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Jacques D Nguyen, Shawn M Aarde, Maury Cole, Sophia A Vandewater, Yanabel Grant, Michael A Taffe
Although inhaled exposure to drugs is a prevalent route of administration for human substance abusers, preclinical models that incorporate inhaled exposure to psychomotor stimulants are not commonly available. Using a novel method that incorporates electronic cigarette-type technology to facilitate inhalation, male Wistar rats were exposed to vaporized methamphetamine (MA), 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) in propylene glycol vehicle using concentrations ranging from 12...
October 2016: Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
R M Beiter, A B Peterson, J Abel, W J Lynch
Exercise has shown promise as a nonpharmacological intervention for addiction, with evidence suggesting a potential utility for relapse prevention. In humans, exercise as an intervention is typically introduced well after the initiation of abstinence, yet neurobiological data from preclinical studies suggest that it may be more effective if initiated during early abstinence. Here, using rat models, we determined whether the beneficial effects of exercise on relapse vulnerability depends on when exercise is first initiated, during early versus late abstinence...
April 26, 2016: Translational Psychiatry
Adam L Halberstadt, Ivan S Sindhunata, Kees Scheffers, Aaron D Flynn, Richard F Sharp, Mark A Geyer, Jared W Young
Timing deficits are observed in patients with schizophrenia. Serotonergic hallucinogens can also alter the subjective experience of time. Characterizing the mechanism through which the serotonergic system regulates timing will increase our understanding of the linkage between serotonin (5-HT) and schizophrenia, and will provide insight into the mechanism of action of hallucinogens. We investigated whether interval timing in mice is altered by hallucinogens and other 5-HT2 receptor ligands. C57BL/6J mice were trained to perform a discrete-trials temporal discrimination task...
August 2016: Neuropharmacology
Justin C Strickland, Max A Feinstein, Ryan T Lacy, Mark A Smith
Impulsive choice is a diagnostic feature and/or complicating factor for several psychological disorders and may be examined in the laboratory using delay-discounting procedures. Recent investigators have proposed using quantitative measures of analysis to examine the behavioral processes contributing to impulsive choice. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of physical activity (i.e., wheel running) on impulsive choice in a single-response, discrete-trial procedure using two quantitative methods of analysis...
May 2016: Behavioural Processes
Regina A Carroll, Tiffany Kodak, Kari J Adolf
We used an adapted alternating treatments design to compare skill acquisition during discrete-trial instruction using immediate reinforcement, delayed reinforcement with immediate praise, and delayed reinforcement for 2 children with autism spectrum disorder. Participants acquired the skills taught with immediate reinforcement; however, delayed reinforcement decreased the efficiency and effectiveness of discrete-trial instruction. We discuss the importance of evaluating the influence of treatment-integrity errors on skill acquisition during discrete-trial instruction...
March 2016: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Lina Majdalany, David A Wilder, Lindsay Smeltz, Joshua Lipschultz
We used discrete-trial training to teach 3 children with autism to tact shapes of countries using 3 levels of reinforcement delay for correct responding: 0 s (immediate delivery), 6 s, and 12 s. Two of the 3 participants acquired the targets more quickly in the immediate-delivery condition, suggesting that delays as brief as 6 s may be detrimental to learning tacts for some children.
June 2016: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Lauren Plaisance, Dorothea C Lerman, Courtney Laudont, Wai-Ling Wu
Research has identified a variety of effective approaches for responding to errors during discrete-trial training. In one commonly used method, the therapist delivers a prompt contingent on the occurrence of an incorrect response and then re-presents the trial so that the learner has an opportunity to perform the correct response independently. Some authors recommend inserting trials with previously mastered targets between the prompted response and opportunities to respond independently, but no studies have directly examined the benefits of this approach...
June 2016: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Justine Fam, Fred Westbrook, Ehsan Arabzadeh
One characteristic of natural environments is that outcomes vary across time. Animals need to adapt to these environmental changes and adjust their choices accordingly. In this experiment, we investigated the sensitivity with which rats could detect, and adapt to, multiple changes in the environment. Rats chose between two spouts which delivered 5% sucrose rewards with distinct probabilities. Across three phases, reward probabilities changed in size (large or small) and direction (increase or decrease). A discrete trial-structure was used, which allowed the choice process to be decomposed into three distinct response latency measures (choice execution latency, spout sampling duration, and trial-initiation latency)...
2015: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Carmen Huynh, Justine Fam, Serge H Ahmed, Kelly J Clemens
Drug use may be exacerbated in environments which lack alternative means of engaging in rewarding behaviour. When alternative rewards are available, drug use may decrease-an effect that can be harnessed for therapeutic benefit. This idea is particularly well-supported by recent preclinical evidence demonstrating that a majority of rats will readily choose a potent non-drug reward over cocaine or heroin. Here we examine whether the same holds true for nicotine, a drug considered to have one of the highest addiction liabilities amongst drugs of abuse...
September 16, 2015: Addiction Biology
Amber R Paden, Tiffany Kodak
We examined the effects of reinforcement magnitude on skill acquisition during discrete-trial training. After conducting a magnitude preference assessment, we compared acquisition during conditions with large and small magnitudes of edible reinforcement to a praise-only condition. Although all participants showed a preference for the large-magnitude reinforcer, preference did not predict the magnitude that produced the fastest skill acquisition.
December 2015: Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Amber M Chenoweth, Stephen B Fountain
Atropine sulfate is a muscarinic cholinergic antagonist which impairs acquisition and retention performance on a variety of cognitive tasks. The present study examined the effects of atropine on acquisition and retention of a highly-structured serial pattern in a serial multiple choice (SMC) task. Rats were given daily intraperitoneal injections of either saline or atropine sulfate (50mg/kg) and trained in an octagonal operant chamber equipped with a lever on each wall. They learned to press the levers in a particular order (the serial pattern) for brain-stimulation reward in a discrete-trial procedure with correction...
September 2015: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
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