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Per Holth. Tacts & Joint Attention: An Operant Analysis of Joint Attention Skills. 1. The tact 2. Generic (natural) reinforcement of the TACT 3. Joint attention 4. Why study JA?. 5. Operant analysis of JA 6. Research questions 7. Training procedures. Tacts & Joint Attention.

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tacts joint attention
1. The tact

2. Generic (natural) reinforcement of the TACT

3. Joint attention

4. Why study JA?

5. Operant analysis of JA

6. Research questions

7. Training procedures

Tacts & Joint Attention

Per Holth

tact skinner 1957
Tact (Skinner, 1957)
  • "a verbal operant in which a given response form is evoked (or at least strengthened) by a particular object or event or a property of an object or event.”
      • SD R  SRGEN. COND
  • The unique relation to a discriminative stimulus, rather than to a specific establishing operation, is obtained by (i) many different reinforcers or (ii) generalized reinforcers.

Per Holth

generalized reinforce ment skinner 1957
Instead of using a great variety of reinforcements, each of which is relevant to a given state of deprivation or aversive stimulation a contingency is arranged between a verbal response and a generalized conditioned reinforcer.

Any event which characteristically precedes many different reinforcers can be used as a reinforcer to bring behavior under the control of all appropriate conditions of deprivation and aversive stimulation. (p. 53)

Generalized reinforcementSkinner (1957)

Per Holth

establishing conditioned reinforcers
Establishingconditioned reinforcers

• correlate with primary reinforcer

(blocking)

or

• establish as SD for responses that produce a primary reinforcer

Per Holth

generalized reinforce r approval
A common generalized conditioned reinforcer is “approval.” It is often difficult to specify its physical dimensions. It may be little more than a nod or a smile on the part of someone who characteristically supplies a variety of reinforcements. Sometimes . . . it has a verbal form: Right! or Good!” (p. 54)Generalized reinforcer:”Approval”

Per Holth

typical generalized conditioned reinforcers 1
Typical generalized ‘conditioned’ reinforcers 1
  • To what extent are they typically conditioned in the first place in normally developing children?
    • (Combine Fantz with deCasper et al.)

Per Holth

typical generalized conditioned reinforcers 2
Typical generalized ‘conditioned’ reinforcers 2
  • Autocatalytic process?
  • Additional sources of reinforcement?

Observe

Novel event

Monitor

smile, nod

gaze

Lower frequency

of SAs and Ss

Higher frequency

of mand reinf.

Report

Novel event

Per Holth

typical generalized conditioned reinforcers 3
Typical generalized ‘conditioned’ reinforcers 3

When generalized reinforcers are only established through contrived contingencies, can they be maintained as reinforcers at near-normal rates of back-up (primary) reinforcement?

Per Holth

an extended verbal episode
An extended verbal episode

Novel

event

TACT

(ROBS)

SD1

RV

SRGEN.

Looking for

novel event

LISTENER’S

look, smile,

nod, “yes,”

“m-hmm,”

relevant

comments

ROBS.

SDSOC.

Looking for

(potential)

attention

Attention

Per Holth

the concept of ja
The concept of JA

From

‘Gaze following’(Scaife & Bruner, 1975)

to

‘Theory of mind’(e.g., Baron-Cohen, 1991)

Per Holth

joint attention in social cognitive development
Joint Attention in ‘social-cognitive development’
  • normative patterns of emergence (e.g., Corkum & Moore, 1995)
  • relation to later developing skills:
    • ‘symbolic abilities’ (Hobson, 1993; Mundy, Sigman, & Kasari, 1993),
    • ‘language abilities’ (Baldwin, 1995; Bates et al., 1979; Bruner, 1975; Tomasello, 1988) and
    • ‘general social-cognitive processes’ (Baron-Cohen, 1995; Bruner, 1975; Mundy, 1995; Tomasello, 1995).
  • a syndrom-specific deficit in autism (e.g., Baron-Cohen, 1989, Mundy & Crowson, 1997; Sigman & Kasari, 1995; Sigman, Kasari, Kwon, & Yirmiya, 1992).

Per Holth

definitions
Definitions
  • “the simultaneous engagement of two or more individuals in mental focus on one and the same external thing” (Baldwin, 1995, p. 132)
  • (a) narrow version: “looking where someone else is looking”

(b) broad version includes: “responsive and initiating behaviors as well as the checking of another person’s face. . .” (Sigman & Kasari, 1995, p. 189)

  • “knowing that another is looking at and experiencing something in the visual world” (Bruner, 1995, p. 7)
  • “both participants are monitoring the other’s attention to the outside entity . . . [and] the coordination that takes place in joint attentional interactions is accomplished by means of an understanding that the other participant has a focus of attention to the same entity as the self” (Tomasello, 1995, pp. 105-107)
  • although JA “. . . typically refers to coordination of visual attention, . . .[it] may be achieved through other sensory modalities” (Sarria, Gomez & Tamarit, 1996, p. 49)

Per Holth

examples
Examples
  • Gaze following
  • Monitoring
  • Social referencing
  • Protoimperative
  • Protodeclarative

Per Holth

monitoring
Monitoring

Per Holth

monitoring 1
Monitoring 1

Per Holth

monitoring 2
Monitoring 2

Per Holth

monitoring 3
Monitoring 3

Per Holth

why behavior analysts should study joint attention
Why behavior analysts should study joint attention
  • Autism-specific deficit -- yet early intervention studies lack JA measures
  • Cognitive psychologists have insisted that JA skills are not learned
  • Lacking JA skills may be directly related to specific language deficits

Per Holth

a letter to the me list
A letter to the ME list
  • Does anyone have any ideas on how to develop a program on teaching a child to comment?  My son . . . does not make comments.  A purple cow could walk by and he wouldn't mention it.

Per Holth

why joint attention phenomena are important in verbal and listening skills
Why joint attention phenomena are important in verbal and listening skills
  • Consider what happens in their absence
    • listening skills
      • ”Look at that!”
      • ”There’s a horse with three legs!”
    • MANDS
    • TACTS

Per Holth

operant analysis of ja skills
Operant analysis of JA skills
  • Discrimination
  • Conditioned reinforcement
  • Conditional discrimination
  • Conjugate reinforcement
  • Continuous repertoires
  • Observing responses

Per Holth

observing responses dinsmoor 1983
Observing responsesDinsmoor (1983)

SD

S

MULT

R

R

VR

MIX

Ext.

Per Holth

observing responses mother s look as s d
Observing responses:Mother’s look as SD

SD

S

R

R

Reinf.

MIX

Ext.

Per Holth

observing responses mother s look as s
Observing responses:Mother’s look as S

SD

S

R

R

Reinf.

MIX

Ext.

Per Holth

more on operant principles and ja skills
More on operant principles and JA skills

Behavior is very fluid; it isn’t made up of lots of little responses packed together. I hope I will live to see a formulation which will take this fluidity into account.

(Skinner, 1968, pp. 20-21)

  • Conjugate reinforcement
  • Continuous repertoires

Per Holth

conjugate reinforcement
Conjugate reinforcement
  • In conjugate reinforcement, the intensity of a continuously available reinforcing consequence is directly controlled by the subject’s rate of responding. (Morgan & Lindsley, 1966)
    • Attention-maintaining responses

Per Holth

continuous repertoires
Continuous repertoires
  • Control of a continuous response dimension by a continuous stimulus dimension. (Wildemann & Holland, 1972)
    • Gaze following
    • Imitation

Per Holth

research questions
Research questions
  • Typical generalized ‘conditioned’ reinforcers

(a) Can they be maintained as such at near-normal rates of back-up (primary) reinforcement?

(b) To what extent are they typically conditioned in the first place? (Combine Fantz with deCasper & Fifer)

  • Continuous repertoires

Is multiple exemplar training sufficient, or are there additional prerequisites (pivotal skills)?

  • Observing responses

Can they be prevented/removed by a preponderance of attention as S?

Per Holth

establishing tacts in tactless manders
Establishing TACTS in tactless manders
  • establishing normal tact-consequences as reinforcers
  • establishing simple joint attention skills
  • producing high-rate tact responses in the natural environment
  • discrimination training with respect to objects and events worth talking about vs. those not worth talking about

Per Holth

1 establishing normal tact consequences as reinforcers
1. Establishing normal tact-consequences as reinforcers
  • Nods, smiles, ’attention,’ etc. as SDs for responses that produce reinforcers
  • Different reinforcers, using tokens
  • Stretching the ratio
  • Fading the tokens

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer pretest
Free-operant reinforcer pretest

Response: Hit bell

Intrinsic

Mix social

Sweets

57

2

Response: Put mark across line

67

Relevant

comments

Intrinsic

Sweets

3

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer pretest69
Free-operant reinforcer pretest

Response: Ball into wall

57

Intrinsic

Praise

Sweets

57

22

2

Response: Pearls on board

45

Nods & smiles

Intrinsic

Sweets

Per Holth

remaining problems
Remaining problems
  • Potential reinforcers are visible
  • Reinforcement is not generalized
  • Reinforcement is continuous

Per Holth

different reinforcers using tokens stretching the ratio and fading the tokens
Different reinforcers – using tokens,stretching the ratio and fading the tokens
  • Reverse chaining
  • Prompts faded as soon as possible
  • Diversity of back-up reinforcers
  • Less eye-chatching versions
    • Marks on paper sheets
    • Done by trainers (and others) gradually more often

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer pretest74
Free-operant reinforcer pretest

Response: Hit bell

Intrinsic

Mix social

Sweets

57

2

Response: Put mark across line

67

Relevant

comments

Intrinsic

Sweets

3

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer pretest75
Free-operant reinforcer pretest

Response: Ball into wall

57

Intrinsic

Praise

Sweets

57

22

2

Response: Pearls on board

45

Nods & smiles

Intrinsic

Sweets

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer posttest
Free-operant reinforcer posttest

Response: Pearls on board

Mix social

39

Sweets

Intrinsic

27

Response: Mark across line

Relevant

comments

Intrinsic

46

Sweets

22

23

Per Holth

free operant reinforcer posttest77
Free-operant reinforcer posttest

Response: Ball into basket

Intrinsic

Praise

Sweets

20

14

14

Response: Ball into wall

81

48

Sweets

47

Intrinsic

Nod & smile

Per Holth

2 joint attention skills a step by step procedure
2. Joint attention skills: A step-by-step procedure
  • Gaze following
  • Monitoring
  • Attention bids

Per Holth

3 producing high rate tact responses in the natural environment
3. Producing high-rate tact responses in the natural environment

TRAIN ”WHAT’S THAT” AS A MAND

  • Pictures
  • Objects in the room
  • Behavior
  • Objects and events outside

Per Holth

differential g eneralized reinforce ment
Familiar objects loose their control because the community eventually withholds reinforcement except under special conditions. Only objects which are unusual in some respect or which occur in unusual surroundings, are important to the listener and hence provide the occasion for reinforcing the speaker[‘s behavior]. (pp. 89-90) Differential generalized reinforcement:

Per Holth

4 discrimination training with respect to objects and events worth talking about
4. Discrimination training with respect to objects and events worth talking about:
  • What’s missing /what’s new?
  • What’s changed?
  • What’s weired/strange in the room/on a person?

Arranged continuously  intermittently

Reported immediately  delayed  to someone else

Per Holth

a letter to the me list102
A letter to the ME list
  • Does anyone have any ideas on how to develop a program on teaching a child to comment?  My son . . . does not make comments.  A purple cow could walk by and he wouldn't mention it.

Per Holth

establishing tacts in tactless manders103
Establishing TACTS in tactless manders
  • Video:
    • 3.05 Reinforcer test
    • 5.20 One prompt (marks) nods
    • 7.00 Nods & smiles
    • 7.36 Toy figurescardsfruitsbehavior
    • 9.50 Destroyed objects
    • 10.24 ???
      • 11.40

Per Holth