The CDBS podcasts available on this page are from 2008. I am not currently producing new podcasts, though I might in the future. For now, feel free to listen to the archived episodes. I also am including a series of podcasts from 2007 that were a monthly feature of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. Note: Because these are archived podcasts, please disregard the information in the episodes about the podcast website URL and other ways of accessing the podcasts, as this information is out of date. Click on an episode number to listen. You can also find various audio and video materials, including podcasts, produced for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis on YouTube.
Episode 01 (July 2008)
Dr. Jesse Dallery discusses his research on smoking cessation at the University of Florida.
Smoking is the number one cause of preventable deaths in the US, killing more than 400,000 people a year. Of the over 46 million Americans who smoke, roughly 70 percent report that they would like to quit. In drug abstinence reinforcement therapy, patients receive desirable consequences for providing objective evidence of abstinence. Evidence of this type must be obtained through means such as urine tests, blood tests, or, in the case of smoking, breathalyzer tests. Objective evidence of smoking abstinence can be determined by breath carbon monoxide (CO) measures, which can be obtained from patients by having them blow into a breathalyzer. However, to verify continued abstinence CO samples must be provided on a daily basis, which has presented an obstacle in more widely applying this type of treatment to smokers. Dr. Jesse Dallery’s research at the University of Florida aims to overcome this barrier through the innovative use of computer-based technology.
Episode 02 (August 2008)
Dr. Brian Iwata discusses his research on functional behavior analysis.
In the early 1980s, Dr. Brian Iwata and his colleagues at the John F. Kennedy Institute (now the Kennedy Krieger Institute) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported a systematic functional analysis procedure used to identify the reinforcers for self-injurious behavior. The procedure involved the systematic manipulation of both antecedent and consequent events in order to determine which arrangement of conditions produced the highest rate of self-injury in their patients. Once these specific conditions were identified, they could be altered to reduce or eliminate the problem. With this information, it often is unnecessary to implement arbitrary reinforcement contingencies in the hope that they will compete with the reinforcers for problem behavior or to arrange for punishment procedures to be implemented when problem behavior is observed. In the years since the publication of the seminal article by Dr. Iwata and his colleagues, functional analysis methods have been widely used in research and practice, and have been the focus of many experimental investigations that have served to refine the methodology and extend its use to diverse settings, populations, and behavior problems.
Bonus Episode (August 2008)
Dr. Brian Iwata discusses his days as a graduate student, his early career, and his approach to mentoring graduate students.
Episode 03 (September 2008)
Dr. Henry Schlinger discusses a functional approach to understanding consciousness.
What does it mean to be conscious? This debate has raged for many years without a satisfactory resolution. Notable scholars from Sigmund Freud to Sir Francis Crick have offered their views on the topic. The late Sir Francis Crick, as one might expect, suggested that consciousness was nothing more than the activity of neurons in the brain. Sigmund Freud made the unconscious the cornerstone of his psychoanalytic theory, although he did not provide any clear definition thereof.
Episode 04 (November 2008)
Dr. Jim Carr discusses early behavioral intervention programs for children with autism.
Autism is one of several Pervasive Developmental Disorders and is characterized primarily by severely deficient communication and social skills. An autism diagnosis is made based on the presence or absence of a number of behavioral symptoms. The causes of autism are unknown, but research suggests that the disorder is likely influenced both by and biological variables and experience (learning). No matter the etiology, there still are large numbers of children meeting the diagnostic criteria for autism who are in dire need of help. What treatment approaches are best is a subject matter of great debate, at least among the general public. How to best evaluate these treatment programs is not necessarily well appreciated by the general public or even some autism professionals.
Episode 05 (December 2008)
Dr. David Palmer discusses a selectionist account of learning.
Charles Darwin’s description of evolution in terms of natural selection serves as one of the most important scientific advances of all time. Some 80 years or so following Darwin’s grand publication On The Origin of the Species, another book appeared that would prove to be the foundation for a second kind of selectionist account of diversity in the natural world. In this case, the diversity of interest was the behavior of living things and the book was The Behavior of Organisms by the American psychologist B. F. Skinner. It would be some time after the 1938 publication of The Behavior of Organisms before a formal analysis of learning in terms of selectionist principles would be offered. It can be argued that the well-established principles of operant conditioning (namely reinforcement and punishment), so thoroughly investigated by Skinner and his students and colleagues, should be viewed in terms of selection insofar as reinforcement selects for certain behavioral characteristics. Some behavior proves fit at a given point in time in the sense that it is more likely to produce reinforcement than other behavioral variants.
Episode 01 (January 2007)
Dr. Jon Bailey shares his views on the development and continued growth of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Episode 02 (February 2007)
Dr. Tim Vollmer discusses his early influences in the field and his take on the future of behavior analysis as a science and in practice.
Episode 03 (March-April 2007)
Dr. Ray Miltenberger talks about his early exposure to behavior analysis, his views on the role of behavior analysis in science and psychology, and more.
Episode 04 (May 2007)
Dr. Tom Welsh talks about his influences and how he went from a Ph.D. in behavior analysis to a dance professor at FSU.