Study objective: The present study focused on using operant conditioning to shape a pig's persistent nose-poking. Design: Nose-poking persisting for a specific minimum duration was trained with a successive approximation procedure. Setting: An experimental pen with 2 response-frames attached to opposite sides of the pen. Subjects: Two 74-month-old pigs. Independent variables: The persistent nose-poke response was shaped with successive approximation using a conditional sound reinforcer and a primary food reinforcer (pieces of apples). The response duration criterion was gradually increased from 0.1 s to 20 s. The conditional reinforcer was presented immediately after a persistent response to one of the response-frames, and the food reinforcer was given for a subsequent response to the other frame. Measures: The number of trials required to achieve 50 successful trials per session. Results: Nose-poking was shaped to persist for 20 s with high accuracy. Conclusions: Persistent nose-poking was shaped successfully using operant conditioning techniques. This procedure might be applicable to teaching pigs to stand still in a practical livestock situation.
Study objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate effects of physical guidance in wheelchair-driving training for a participant with severe right hemiplegia and cognitive disorder. Design: Single-subject design of A-B-A-B′. Setting: Rehabilitation unit at a hospital. Participant: A 44-year-old male patient who had had a stroke. Intervention: In the baseline phase, the therapist used oral instruction and modeling. In the intervention phase, the therapist used physical guidance. Measure: The number of times that the patient drove the wheelchair consecutively after the intervention. Results: In the training with physical guidance, the number of times that the participant successfully drove the wheelchair was significantly greater than with oral instructions and modeling. Furthermore, the trend in the number of successful instances of driving did not show any increase with oral instruction and modeling, but showed a clear increase with physical guidance. Conclusion: The present study suggests that physical guidance may be quite effective for stroke patients with severe hemiplegia and cognitive disorder, compared to modeling or oral instructions.
Study objective: The present research was conducted to analyze effects of behavior consultation on behavior of a teacher and to propose successful strategies for improving treatment integrity of teaching behavior. Design: An A-B-C-CD-CDE single-case design. Setting: A math class in a part-time high school. Participants: A special education coordinator, a male teacher, and 35 high school students. Intervention: 2 pre-intervention meetings, a session every morning to assess teaching behavior, performance feedback, and a script. Measures: The execution of proper teaching behavior by the target teacher and the task performance of his students. Results: Improvement was observed in the treatment integrity of the target teacher in terms of his behavior and the task performance of the students. Conclusion: The behavior consultation employed here appeared to be an effective intervention. In addition, the improvement in the students' task performance associated with changes in the teaching behavior of the target teacher are highlighted in the discussion. A limitation of the study is its inability have strict control of possibly confounding factors.
The special section of tutorial articles in the present issue is based on the first and third meetings of the Kyoto Seminar for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, titled Instrumentation in the Study of Operant Conditioning: The Past and the Future. The Kyoto Seminars were held twice a year (spring and fall), from early in December, 2012, to the end of March, 2015, that is, 6 times. The tutorial articles in the present issue deal with cumulative recorders as a basic method for recording response patterns and food dispensers as a device for presenting reinforcers in the study of operant behavior. The articles reveal that research in operant behavior has benefited from technical innovations in experimental apparatus such as cumulative recorders and food dispensers. These articles will provide a further step for future research on operant behavior.
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