Date of Award

4-1986

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. Ellen Page-Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. David Lyon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Three subjects suspected as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) victims were trained on a behavioral chain of three sets of three poker chips, each set differing in color and position, to investigate subtle changes in learning and performance behaviors over time. For each session the subjects learned a new three-response sequence with a marked poker chip serving as the correct response for each set. A within-session learning curve resulted for all three subjects with the errors in the learning trial (LT) exceeding the errors for the performance trials (PT1 and PT2). Only Subject III demonstrated a stable pattern of learning, with the number of errors reaching a steady state from session to session. Procedural rules were enforced to foster the discrimination of the correct stimulus within each set of the behavioral chain. Between-trial reinforcement "breaks" and individualized reinforcers were delivered contingent upon responding during the sessions. The results of the study indicated that the repeated acquisition technique could be used with suspected AD subjects and has demonstrated that the technique was sensitive to subtle changes in behavior over time.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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