Use of a spatial percentile schedule to shape responding in cynomolgus macaques


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Towson University. Department of Psychology


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Of particular usefulness in applied behavior analysis is the investigation and application of operant behavior measures. Operant behaviors can be shaped, controlled, and maintained under rule governed schedules, used as tests to evaluate a multitude of changes in an organism. The percentile schedule, a mathematical technique of shaping, is of obvious value however detailed research of its application and species tested are underrepresented. The current research, through a series of five experiments, applied a percentile schedule to shape and control response locations on a touchscreen of non-human primates. The experiments manipulated parameters of the schedule including memory size, two criteria of reinforcement, locations of responding, and within-session manipulations. In all experiments control of response location was appropriately maintained by the schedule. The results here show that response location to a distinct pixel can be shaped and maintained in non human primates although further investigation of memory size is warranted.