8 results for Poling, Alan

  • Delayed matching-to-sample performance of hens: Effects of sample duration and response requirements during the sample

    Foster, T. Mary; Temple, William; William, C.; DeMello, L.R.; Poling, Alan (1995)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Six domestic hens were trained under a delayed matching-to-sample procedure with red and green keylights as sample and comparison stimuli and a 1.5-s delay interval. The hens were trained to stop pecking the sample stimuli when a tone sounded. Duration of the sample stimuli (2 to 10 s) and the number of pecks required on the key on which these stimuli were presented (0 to 10) were altered across conditions. Both the response requirement on the sample key and the duration of sample presentations affected accuracy. These findings are in agreement with those of earlier studies using other species and somewhat different procedures.

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  • Switch hitting in baseball: Apparent rule-following, not matching

    Poling, Alan; Weeden, Marc A.; Redner, Ryan; Foster, T. Mary (2011)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Many studies, including some dealing with shot selection in basketball and play selection in football, demonstrate that the generalized matching equation provides a good description of the allocation of time and effort to alternative responses as a function of the consequences of those alternatives. We examined whether it did so with respect to left- and right-handed at bats (alternative responses) and left- and right-handed total bases earned, runs batted in, and home runs (three consequences) for the outstanding baseball switch-hitters Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Pete Rose. With all hitters, undermatching, suggesting insensitivity to the consequences of behavior (reinforcement), was evident and there was substantial bias towards left-handed at bats. These players apparently chose handedness based on the rule “bat opposite the pitcher,” not on differential consequences obtained in major league games. The present findings are significant in representing a counter-instance of demonstrations of a matching relationship in sports in particular and in human behavior in general and in calling attention to the need for further study of the variables that affect choice.

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  • Reproducibility of African giant pouched rats detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Ellis, Haylee Maree; Mulder, Christiaan; Valverde, Emilio; Poling, Alan; Edwards, Timothy L. (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Background: African pouched rats sniffing sputum samples provided by local clinics have significantly increased tuberculosis case findings in Tanzania and Mozambique. The objective of this study was to determine the reproducibility of rat results. Methods: Over an 18-month period 11,869 samples were examined by the rats. Intra-rater reliability was assessed through Yule’s Q. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with Krippendorff’s alpha. Results: Intra-rater reliability was high, with a mean Yule’s Q of 0.9. Inter-rater agreement was fair, with Krippendorf’s alpha ranging from 0.15 to 0.45. Both Intra- and Inter-rater reliability was independent of the sex of the animals, but they were positively correlated with age. Both intra- and inter-rater agreement was lowest for samples designated as smear-negative by the clinics. Conclusion: Overall, the reproducibility of tuberculosis detection rat results was fair and diagnostic results were therefore independent of the rats used.

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  • The matching law

    Poling, Alan; Edwards, Timothy L.; Weeden, Marc A.; Foster, T. Mary (2011)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This article introduces the quantitative analysis of choice behavior by describing a number of equations developed over the years to describe the relation between the allocation of behavior under concurrent schedules of reinforcement and the consequences received for alternative responses. Direct proportionality between rate of responding and rate of reinforcement was observed in early studies, suggesting that behavioral output matched environmental input in a mathematical sense. This relation is termed "strict matching," and the equation that describes it is referred to as "the matching law." Later data showed systematic departures from strict matching, and a generalized version of the matching equation is now used to describe such data. This equation, referred to as "the generalized matching equation," also describes data that follow strict matching. It has become convention to refer to either of these equations as "the matching law." Empirical support for the matching law is briefly summarized, as is the applied and practical significance of matching analyses.

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  • Reinforcer magnitude and demand under fixed-ratio schedules with domestic hens

    Grant, Amber A.; Foster, T. Mary; Temple, William; Jackson, Surrey; Kinloch, Jennifer; Poling, Alan (2014)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    This study compared three methods of normalizing demand functions to allow comparison of demand for different commodities and examined how varying reinforcer magnitudes affected these analyses. Hens responded under fixed-ratio schedules in 40-min sessions with response requirement doubling each session and with 2-s, 8-s, and 12-s access to wheat. Over the smaller fixed ratios overall response rates generally increased and were higher the shorter the magazine duration. The logarithms of the number of reinforcers obtained (consumption) and the fixed ratio (price) were well fitted by curvilinear demand functions (Hursh et al., 1988. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 50, 419–440) that were inelastic (b negative) over small fixed-ratios. The fixed ratio with maximal response rate (Pmax) increased, and the rate of change of elasticity (a) and initial consumption (L) decreased with increased magazine duration. Normalizing consumption using measures of preference for various magazine durations (3-s vs. 3-s, 2-s vs. 8-s, and 2-s vs. 12-s), obtained using concurrent schedules, gave useful results as it removed the differences in L. Normalizing consumption and price (Hursh and Winger, 1995. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 64, 373–384) unified the data functions as intended by that analysis. The exponential function (Hursh and Silberberg, 2008. Psychological Review, 115, 186–198) gave an essential value that increased (i.e., α decreased significantly) as magazine duration decreased. This was not as predicted, since α should be constant over variations in magazine duration, but is similar to previous findings using a similar procedure with different food qualities (hens) and food quantities (rats).

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  • Behavior-based assessment of the auditory abilities of brushtail possums

    Osugi, Mizuho; Foster, T. Mary; Temple, William; Poling, Alan (2011)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were trained to press a right lever when a tone was presented (a tone-on trial) and a left lever when a tone was not presented (a tone-off trial) to gain access to food. During training the tone was set at 80 dB(A), with a frequency of 0.88 kH for 3 possums and of 4 kH for the other 2. Once accuracy was over 90% correct across five consecutive sessions, a test session was conducted where the intensity of the tone was reduced by 8 dB(A) over blocks of 20 trials until accuracy over a block fell below 60%. After each test session, training sessions were reintroduced and continued until accuracy was again over 90%, when another test session was conducted. This process continued until there were at least five test sessions at that tone frequency. The same procedure was then used with frequencies of 0.20, 0.88, 2, 4, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 30, and 35 kHz. Percentage correct and d9 decreased approximately linearly for all possums as tone intensity reduced. Both sets of lines were shallowest at the higher frequencies and steepest at the lower frequencies. Hit and false alarm rates mirrored each other at high frequencies but were asymmetric at lower frequencies. Equal d9 contours showed that sensitivity increased from 2 to 15 kHz and continued to be high over 20 to 35 kHz. The possums remained sensitive to the 20 to 35 kHz tones even at low intensities. The present study is the first to report the abilities of possum to detect tones over this range of frequencies and its results support the findings of a microelectrode mapping survey of possums’ auditory cortex.

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  • Animal olfactory detection of human diseases: Guidelines and systematic review

    Edwards, Timothy L.; Browne, Clare M.; Schoon, Adee; Cox, Christophe; Poling, Alan (2017)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Animal olfactory detection of human diseases has attracted an increasing amount of interest from researchers in recent years. Because of the inconsistent findings reported in this body of research and the complexity of scent-detection research, it is difficult to ascertain the potential value of animal detectors in operational diagnostic algorithms. We have outlined key factors associated with successful training and evaluation of animals for operational disease detection and, using these key factors as points for comparison, conducted a systematic review of the research in this area. Studies that were published in peer-reviewed outlets and that described original research evaluating animals for detection of human diseases were included in the review. Most relevant studies have assessed dogs as detectors of various forms of cancer. Other researchers have targeted bacteriuria, Clostridium difficile, hypoglycemia, and tuberculosis. Nematodes and pouched rats were the only exceptions to canine detectors. Of the 28 studies meeting inclusion criteria, only 9 used operationally feasible procedures. The most common threat to operational viability was the use of a fixed number of positive samples in each sample run. Most reports included insufficient information for replication or adequate evaluation of the validity of the findings. Therefore, we have made recommendations regarding the type of information that should be included when describing research in this area. The results of this systematic review suggest that animal detectors hold promise for certain diagnostic applications but that additional research evaluating operationally viable systems for olfactory detection of human diseases is necessary.

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  • Demand equations for qualitatively different foods under fixed-ratioschedules: a comparison of three data conversions

    Foster, T. Mary; Sumpter, Catherine E.; Temple, William; Flevill, Amanda; Poling, Alan (2009)

    Journal article
    University of Waikato

    Concurrent schedules were used to establish 6 hens’ preferences for three foods. The resulting biases suggested wheat was preferred over honey-puffed and puffed wheat, and puffed wheat was the least preferred food. The hens then responded under fixed-ratio schedules for each food in 40-min (excluding reinforcer time) sessions, with the response requirement doubling each session until no reinforcers were received. At the smaller ratios, the less preferred the food, the faster the hens’ overall response rates (mainly as a result of shorter postreinforcement pauses) and the more reinforcers they received. The relations between the logarithms of the number of reinforcers obtained (consumption) and the response ratio (price) were well fitted by curvilinear demand functions. Wheat produced the smallest initial consumption (ln L), followed by honey-puffed and puffed wheat, respectively. The response requirement at which the demand functions predicted maximal responding (Pmax) were larger for wheat than for the other foods. Normalizing consumption and price, as suggested by Hursh and Winger (1995), moved the data for the three foods towards a single demand function; however, the Pmax values were generally largest for puffed wheat. The results of normalization, as suggested by Hursh and Silberberg (2008), depended on the k value used. The parameter k is related to the range of the data, and the same k value needs to be used for all data sets that are compared. A k value of 8.0 gave significantly higher essential values (smaller a values) for puffed wheat as compared to honey-puffed wheat and wheat, and the Pmax values, in normalized standard price units, were largest for puffed wheat. Normalizing demand by converting the puffed and honey-puffed wheat reinforcers to wheat equivalents (by applying the bias parameter from the concurrent-schedules procedure) maintained separate demand functions for the foods. Those for wheat had the smallest rates of change in elasticity (a) and, in contrast to the other analyses, the largest Pmax values. Normalizing demand in terms of concurrentschedule preference appears to have some advantages and to merit further investigation.

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