Publications by authors named "Amber Valentino"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Reproductive success diminished following mate loss for females but not males in a monogamous rodent.

Behav Processes 2021 May 1;188:104415. Epub 2021 May 1.

Department of Psychology, Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA, 19131, USA; Department of Psychology, Lawrence University, 711 E Bold Way, Appleton, WI, 54911, USA.

The strictly monogamous California mouse (Peromyscus californicus) forms life-long pair bonds and mates exclusively with a single partner. While studies in the wild indicate that individuals may re-pair with a new partner following mate loss, the preponderance of this behavior and subsequent reproductive outcomes following re-pairing are understudied. To examine reproductive outcomes following re-pairing and to look for sex-specific differences following mate loss, birth records of 584 California mouse pairs from our laboratory were analyzed. Of these pairs, 59 pairs were identified as re-pairs and used for further descriptive analysis. We found that 50/59 (84.7 %) of re-paired animals gave birth, indicating that reproduction with a new mate is not only possible, but perhaps more common than previously described for this species. Additionally, we found that when re-paired, females took significantly longer to birth a subsequent litter as compared to original breeding pairs. Overall findings from the current study provide evidence for sex differences in reproductive outcomes following repairing and for greater flexibility in mating strategy for a species described as strictly monogamous.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2021.104415DOI Listing
May 2021

Mouse mandibular retromolar taste buds associated with a mucus salivary gland.

Chem Senses 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

We have characterized a recently rediscovered chemosensory structure at the rear of the mandibular mucosa in the mouse oral cavity originally reported in the 1980s. This consists of unorganized taste buds, not contained within troughs, associated with the ducts of an underlying minor salivary gland. Using whole-mount preparations of transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein under the promoter of taste-signaling-specific genes, we determined that the structure contains taste bud clusters and salivary gland orifices at the rear of each mandible, distal to the last molar and anterior to the ascending ramus. Immunohistochemical analysis show in the retromolar taste buds expression of the taste receptors Tas2R131 and T1R3 and taste cascade molecules TrpM5, PLCβ2, and GNAT3, consistent with type II taste cells, and expression of GAD1, consistent with type III taste cells. Furthermore, the neuronal marker CGRP in retromolar mucosa tissue wrapping around TrpM5+ taste buds was observed. RT-PCR showed that retromolar taste buds express all three mouse tas1r genes, 28 of the 35 tas2r genes, and taste transduction signaling genes gnat3, plcb2, and trpm5, making the retromolar TBs similar to other lingual and palate taste buds. Finally, histochemistry demonstrated that the mandibular retromolar secretory gland is a minor salivary gland of mucous type. The mandibular retromolar taste structure may thus play a role in taste sensation and represent a potential novel pharmacological target for taste disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjab019DOI Listing
April 2021

Promoting Ethical Discussions and Decision Making in a Human Service Agency.

Behav Anal Pract 2020 Dec 28;13(4):905-913. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 390 Union Blvd., Suite #300, Lakewood, CO 80228 USA.

This article describes the development of a system, the Ethics Network, designed to promote discussion of ethical issues in a human services organization. The system includes several core components, including people (e.g., leaders, ambassadors), tools (e.g., hotline, training modules), and resources (e.g., monthly talking points). Data from 6 years of hotline submissions were analyzed to identify the most common concerns, and the data were compared to the pattern of violation notices submitted to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Recommendations are provided for creating similar systems in other organizations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00454-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666260PMC
December 2020

Overcoming Barriers to Applied Research: A Guide for Practitioners.

Behav Anal Pract 2020 Dec 13;13(4):894-904. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 6475 Sierra Lane, Dublin, CA 94568 USA.

The research-to-practice gap is evident in many disciplines. This gap can be seen through practitioners failing to integrate the latest research findings into their work, and through the implementation of procedures that do not have empirical support. As the number of behavior-analytic practitioners grows, this gap is likely to become more salient. One solution to closing the gap is for practitioners to conduct applied research. This survey study aimed to identify specific barriers that practitioners face when conducting research, to identify how valuable conducting research is to practitioners, and to make recommendations to support research productivity in practice. We report results from survey questions about applied research and provide practical recommendations for practitioners to overcome barriers and to begin conducting research during their clinical work.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00479-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7666249PMC
December 2020

Quality Improvement and Behavior Analysis: A Dynamic Duo.

Behav Anal Pract 2020 Mar 16;13(1):232-239. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

1Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH USA.

Behavior analysis as a discipline prides itself on the systematic use of consistent, measured observations to drive specific and clearly defined changes in behavior. The need for diversification of practice is becoming increasingly focused on the topic. We posit that one such area of growth for behavior analysts could be quality improvement (QI). The field of health care QI utilizes specific tools and techniques to drive advancement in the quality and delivery of health care. There are deep corollaries between the methodologies used in QI and behavior analysis. We describe these corollaries through explanation and examples across the 7 dimensions of behavior analysis. We conclude that strong similarities exist between these fields, providing potential pathways for behavior analysts to expand our scope while maintaining the field's core values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-019-00396-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7070113PMC
March 2020

Board Certified Behavior Analysts' Supervisory Practices of Trainees: Survey Results and Recommendations.

Behav Anal Pract 2019 Sep 11;12(3):536-546. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, Lakewood, CO USA.

The field of behavior analysis relies on supervised fieldwork to shape the repertoires of individuals aspiring to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) exam. Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®) who are providing supervision to those seeking certification must follow the supervision and ethics requirements as directed by the BACB. We conducted a survey of BCBAs currently providing supervision to gather information about current practices and barriers. The top areas of success and need are presented based on the responses of 284 participants who completed the entire survey, along with recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-019-00367-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6743523PMC
September 2019

Teaching Mands for Information Using "Why" to Children With Autism.

Anal Verbal Behav 2019 Dec 9;35(2):245-257. Epub 2019 Jul 9.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 6475 Sierra Lane, Dublin, CA 94568 USA.

Mands for information (MFIs) play an important role in language development and are important for successfully acquiring new information from one's environment. Yet many individuals with autism do not acquire mands for information without direct teaching. Research has demonstrated effective procedures for teaching all "wh" forms, except for "why." This study investigated procedures to teach the MFI "why" under control of the establishing operation and examined the extent to which teaching resulted in generalization. The intervention was effective in establishing the MFI "why" for 3 children with autism, and generalization to novel scenarios occurred for all participants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40616-019-00113-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6877683PMC
December 2019

Using a Prerequisite Skills Assessment to Identify Optimal Modalities for Mand Training.

Behav Anal Pract 2019 Mar 7;12(1):22-32. Epub 2018 May 7.

3Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, Phoenix, AZ USA.

This study examined the utility of a brief prerequisite assessment in predicting the subsequent effectiveness and rate of acquisition of mand training in each of three response modalities (sign, picture exchange, and vocalizations). Overall, the picture exchange was the most effective and efficient modality for acquiring the targeted mand. The vocal modality was the least effective except when the prerequisite assessment indicated that two-syllable vocal imitation was intact. The implications for selection of response modality for early mand training are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-018-0256-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6411534PMC
March 2019

Evaluation of stimulus intensity fading on reduction of rapid eating in a child with autism.

J Appl Behav Anal 2018 01;51(1):177-182

Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center.

This study assessed the effects of a vibrating pager on reduction of rapid eating. The study also evaluated two strategies for fading the pager, by intensity and by frequency. The pager was successful in decreasing the pace of eating to an appropriate level and the pager prompt was successfully faded. Fading by frequency was ineffective in maintaining an appropriate pace of eating while intensity fading was successful.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jaba.433DOI Listing
January 2018

The Benefits of Group Supervision and a Recommended Structure for Implementation.

Behav Anal Pract 2016 Dec 12;9(4):320-328. Epub 2016 Oct 12.

Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA.

Effective supervision practices can facilitate the professional development of the supervisee, the continued growth of the supervisor, and the overall development of our field and its practice. In addition to individual supervision, many aspiring certificants also participate in group supervision experiences either as part of their academic practicum or as part of a supervised independent fieldwork experience. Group supervision can provide unique opportunities to establish critical professional repertoires such as peer feedback skills and public speaking skills. However, the quality of the group supervision experience is impacted by the supervisor's arrangement of the components of the experience in order to maximize the effectiveness of these learning opportunities. This paper focuses on those critical supervision characteristics and suggests ways behavior analysts can optimize the group learning experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0138-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118257PMC
December 2016

Recommendations for Detecting and Addressing Barriers to Successful Supervision.

Behav Anal Pract 2016 Dec 30;9(4):309-319. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 390 Union, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228 USA.

Behavior analysts who supervise staff are responsible for establishing a healthy supervisory relationship and for teaching basic behavior analytic skills (e.g., verbal repertoires, technical repertoires, clinical decision-making). In addition, supervisors should prepare their supervisees to succeed in their subsequent professional activities by developing their interpersonal skills and professionalism repertoires. Difficulties in the supervisor relationship and problematic personal and professional skills often become the focus of targeted supervision efforts after the effects of deficits (e.g., avoidance of supervision, complaints from consumers, persistent tardiness) are detected. The primary purpose of this paper is to provide guidance to the supervisor's effort to identify and address barriers to successful supervision related to a damaged supervisory relationship and persistent interpersonal and professional skills of the supervisee. A secondary purpose of this paper is to act as a general call to supervisors to continually and thoughtfully reflect on their own history, repertoires, and behavior, such that they may continue professional growth as supervisors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0142-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118258PMC
December 2016

Recommended Practices for Individual Supervision of Aspiring Behavior Analysts.

Behav Anal Pract 2016 Dec 4;9(4):274-286. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 390 Union Blvd., Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228 USA.

Practicing behavior analysts and behavior analysts in academic settings often provide supervision for young professionals who are pursuing certification as a behavior analyst. Effective supervision is critical to the quality of ongoing behavioral services, the professional development of the supervisee, the continued growth of the supervisor, and the overall development of our field and its practice. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board recently instituted several new requirements including training in supervisory practices prior to supervising those who are accruing hours toward the experience requirement for certification. However, few published resources exist to guide supervisor activities and recommended practice. The paper summarizes five overarching recommended practices for supervision. For each practice, detailed strategies and resources for structuring the supervisory experience are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-016-0110-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5118252PMC
December 2016

Empirical Investigations of the Intraverbal: 2005-2015.

Anal Verbal Behav 2016 Oct 1;32(2):139-153. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 390 Union Blvd, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80228 USA.

Several papers have reviewed the literature based on Skinner's conceptual framework presented in his 1957 book, These reviews have called for more research on the topic of verbal behavior generally and often for more research on particular verbal operants. For example, Sautter and LeBlanc (2006) urged the behavior-analytic community to conduct more research on the intraverbal because of the scant existing literature base at that time. In the current review, we replicate the procedures used by Sautter and LeBlanc focusing specifically on the intraverbal relation and on the literature published in the 10 years since their call for research. We summarize the publication themes, provide graphs of the trends and types of published articles, and offer ideas for future research specific to the intraverbal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40616-016-0064-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6381344PMC
October 2016

Teaching Feminine Hygiene Skills to Young females with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability.

Behav Anal Pract 2016 Jun 16;9(2):184-9. Epub 2015 Oct 16.

Trumpet Behavioral Health, 1401 Parkmoor Ave. Suite 208, San Jose, CA 95126 USA.

Little applied research focuses on teaching feminine hygiene skills to females with disabilities, yet this is a common clinical concern. The current study demonstrates the use of chaining to teach two young females with autism spectrum disorder feminine hygiene skills. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline across participants was utilized, and the results indicate that both participants acquired the skill. Generalization probes with one participant indicated the skill generalized to novel stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40617-015-0065-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893027PMC
June 2016

Assessing the efficacy of pictorial preference assessments for children with developmental disabilities.

J Appl Behav Anal 2016 12 16;49(4):848-868. Epub 2016 Aug 16.

Auburn University.

Past research has demonstrated that pictorial preference assessments can predict subsequent reinforcement effects for individuals with developmental disabilities only when access to the selected stimulus is provided contingent on a pictorial selection. The purpose of the present investigation was to assess more comprehensively the feasibility of the pictorial format with children with developmental disabilities. In Experiment 1, prerequisite skill assessments were conducted, and the role of a contingent reinforcer was assessed by comparing the results from the pictorial assessment without contingent access to a reinforcer assessment. If contingent access was found to be necessary, the effects of schedule thinning were evaluated to determine whether a pictorial format could be made more practical in Experiment 2. The pictorial format without contingent access was successful with only some participants. However, schedule thinning was found to be an effective method to establish conditioned reinforcement properties for pictorial stimuli to create a more practical assessment for a subset of participants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jaba.342DOI Listing
December 2016

Use of a Modified Chaining Procedure with Textual Prompts to Establish Intraverbal Storytelling.

Anal Verbal Behav 2015 Jun 21;31(1):39-58. Epub 2015 Mar 21.

Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA USA.

Echoic, tact, and textual transfer procedures have been proven successful in establishing simple intraverbals (Braam and Poling Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 4, 279-302, 1983; Luciano Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 102, 346-357, 1986; Watkins et al. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 7, 69-81, 1989). However, these strategies may be ineffective for some children due to the complexity of the targeted intraverbals. The current study investigated the use of a novel procedure which included a modified chaining procedure and textual prompts to establish intraverbal behavior in the form of telling short stories. Visual prompts and rule statements were used with some of the participants in order to produce the desired behavior change. Results indicated that the procedure was effective for teaching retelling of short stories in three children with autism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40616-014-0023-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4883542PMC
June 2015

Mands for Information Using "How" Under EO-Absent and EO-Present Conditions.

Anal Verbal Behav 2014 Jun 8;30(1):54-61. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

Marcus Autism Center, 1920 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329 USA.

The present study replicates and extends previous research on teaching "How?" mands for information to children with autism. The experimental preparation involved mand training in the context of completing preferred activities and included training and testing under conditions when the establishing operation (EO) was present and absent. Results show that two children with autism acquired mands for information using How? only in situations where information was valuable (i.e., the EO was present); they then consistently made use of the information provided in activity completion. Generalization to novel, untaught situations was assessed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40616-013-0002-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4883533PMC
June 2014

Mands for information using "who?" and "which?" in the presence of establishing and abolishing operations.

J Appl Behav Anal 2014 12;47(1):136-50. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Marcus Autism Center and Emory University School of Medicine.

Treatments designed to teach mands for information have included prompting and differential reinforcement, as well as procedures to manipulate the relevant establishing operation (EO). However, previous studies have not included relevant abolishing operation (AO) conditions to ensure that the mand is under relevant antecedent control. Data on listener responses (i.e., use of the information) are also absent in the literature. The current study shows differential responding under EO and AO conditions and reports listener responses that demonstrate use of the provided information. Three participants, diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, learned to mand for information using "who?" and "which?" questions exclusively under EO conditions. In addition, each participant responded to the information provided to access a preferred item. Generalization of the "which?" mand for information was also demonstrated across novel stimuli.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jaba.101DOI Listing
August 2015

Comparing the effects of echoic prompts and echoic prompts plus modeled prompts on intraverbal behavior.

J Appl Behav Anal 2012 ;45(2):431-5

Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA.

We compared strategies to teach vocal intraverbal responses to an adolescent diagnosed with autism and Down syndrome. One strategy involved echoic prompts only. The second strategy involved an echoic prompt paired with a modeled prompt in the form of sign language. Presenting the modeled prompt with the echoic prompt resulted in faster acquisition of correct responding. Results are discussed in terms of using functional stimulus classes to facilitate vocal intraverbal acquisition with learners who have a history of sign language training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1901/jaba.2012.45-431DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3405939PMC
January 2013

Differential reinforcement with and without blocking as treatment for elopement.

J Appl Behav Anal 2011 ;44(4):903-7

Marcus Autism Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Blocking is a frequent component of treatments for elopement. Unfortunately, blocking may not always be feasible because elopement often occurs when supervision is low or the behavior cannot be prevented. The present study evaluated the use of blocking in the treatment of elopement by using differential reinforcement of other behavior with and without blocking. In this case, results suggested that blocking may be an essential component for differential reinforcement-based treatments of elopement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1901/jaba.2011.44-903DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3251290PMC
May 2012

An investigation of extinction-induced vocalizations.

Behav Modif 2011 May 10;35(3):284-98. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Marcus Autism Center, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.

Children with autism have significant communication delays. Although some children develop vocalizations through shaping and differential reinforcement, others rarely exhibit vocalizations, and alternative methods are targeted in intervention. However, vocal language often remains a goal for caregivers and clinicians. Thus, strategies to increase frequency of vocalizations are needed. In the present study, the authors examined the effect of extinction of previously acquired signed mands on vocalizations in three children diagnosed with autism. Experiment 1 examined the effects of differential reinforcement of vocalizations and extinction of signed mands combined. In Experiment 1, it was unknown whether the reinforcement of vocalizations alone could have produced the effects; therefore, Experiment 2 isolated the effects of reinforcement and extinction by reinforcing vocalizations in baseline. An increase in rate of vocalizations occurred following the application of extinction of signed mands and differential reinforcement of vocalizations in Experiment 1 and following extinction of signed mands in Experiment 2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0145445511398412DOI Listing
May 2011

Teaching a child with autism to mand for information using "how".

Anal Verbal Behav 2011 ;27(1):179-84

Marcus Autism Center and Emory University, School of Medicine.

Children with autism often do not learn to mand for information without structured teaching. Studies have demonstrated that manipulation of establishing operations (EOs), prompts, prompt fading, and differential reinforcement are effective in teaching children with autism to ask "wh" questions such as "what," "who," and "where." To date, no studies have evaluated procedures to teach children with autism to mand for information using "how." Teaching the mand, "how" is uniquely challenging because once the information regarding how to do something is provided, the EO may no longer be present. The following study evaluated a procedure to teach one child with autism to mand for information using "how" to obtain information to complete multiple activities. The results have implications for clinical application and future research on contriving EOs to teach the mand, "how."
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139554PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03393100DOI Listing
August 2012

Acquisition of mands, tacts, and intraverbals through sign exposure in an individual with autism.

Anal Verbal Behav 2011 ;27(1):95-101

Marcus Autism Center.

Many children with autism communicate through the use of alternative communication systems, such as sign language. Limited research has been conducted on the situations under which sign language will be acquired across verbal operants without direct teaching. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate exposure to sign language on the acquisition of signed mands, tacts, and intraverbals in a male child with autism. Results indicated fast acquisition of mands, tacts, and intraverbals without direct teaching. Results are discussed in the context of future research investigating exposure without direct teaching in individuals who communicate with alternative communication systems.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139555PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF03393094DOI Listing
August 2012