Behavior Analysis Research

Behavior Analysis Resource Center (BARC)
The Behavior Analysis Resource Center (BARC) is dedicated to research and clinical services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In collaboration with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the Denton State Supported Living Center (DSSLC), BARC serves as a unit behavior analyst for residents of DSSLC and operates an assessment and treatment clinic for residents with sever behavior disorders and difficulty with routine medical and dental procedures. BARC also provides training in behavior-analytic approaches to intervention for staff at DSSLC and caregivers and professionals around the state of Texas. Our current research projects include procedures to increase the efficacy of treatment in the everyday environment, the interaction between trauma and behavior change, efficient functional analysis, and basic processes in assessment and behavior change. BARC also offers paid positions to students.

This lab is supervised by Drs. Joseph Dracoby and Richard Smith. Please contact Dr. Dracobly for more information about the lab.

BARC meets on Mondays from 12:30-2:30pm.

Community Lab
This is an interdisciplinary lab for students in Behavior Analysis, Women’s and Gender Studies and Applied Anthropology. The purpose of the Community Lab is to provide a setting for students to engage in collaborative community building. Our goal is to imagine, develop and try third way approaches to address expressed community needs in the most loving and progressive ways possible. Some current projects include culturally flexible family support, migrant and refugee supports, collective shaping for learning social empathy, skilled dialogue training, cultural responsiveness training, creating goal-directed interventions, and how to increase agency in children, therapists and families. Many of these projects are considered within the context of abolition initiatives. Lab typically involves project presentations and discussions. Discussions are framed around envisioning collective well-being, epistemological and ontological considerations, coloniality, and how measures and change methods reflect human rights values.

This lab is co-advised by Drs. Shahla Ala'i, Alicia Re Cruz, Malika Pritchett, and Traci Cihon. Please contact Dr. Ala'i for more information.

The Community Lab meets on Mondays from 12-2pm.

Constructional Life Design
This research laboratory group focuses on teaching individuals how to analyze and program their own lives. Our philosophy is based on the work of Dr. Israel Goldiamond and his Constructional Approach, which was used initially to treat individuals with severe behavior problems. Our research has helped streamline the constructional approach and has investigated how to apply it to a wide range of populations, including juvenile delinquents, failing college students, and parents of children with autism. Our goal is always to help people find greater satisfaction and success in their lives. Our current research focuses on applying the constructional approach to new populations and analyzing the components that make up the constructional approach. As well, we are working on developing methods to best teach others practitioners how to use this approach with clients.

This lab is supervised by Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz.

This lab will begin meeting in Fall 2021.

Culturo-Behavior Science Lab
The Culturo-Behavior Science Lab brings together principles and techniques from Behavior Analysis (e.g., Skinner, 1953), Behavioral Systems Analysis (BSA; e.g., Brethower, 2008), Cultural Analysis (e.g., Glenn et al., 2016), and Cultural Systems Analysis (CSA; Mattaini, in press). Working within a selectionist and ecological systems perspective, members of this lab seek to advance our understanding of how cultural phenomena develop and change over time and how to design more effective cultures and behavioral systems. Members of the lab conduct research that contributes to our understanding of how cultural practices persist or shift over time as a function of the contingencies selected by the social environment (cf. Skinner, 1953, 1981), engage in critical analyses of the existing literature (behavioral analytic and from related natural and social sciences) on cultural and systems analysis and design; develop basic and translational experiments that extend this literature base; and work transdisciplinarily to apply cultural level and contingency analyses to problems of social importance.

This lab is supervised by Dr. Traci Cihon.

For Fall 2021, the Culturo-Behavior Science Lab meets on Tuesdays from 10 an to 12pm via Zoom.

Evolutionary Culture Lab
The Evolutionary Culture Lab explores culturo-behavioral phenomena, biological and social systems, and social learning with an emphasis on animal culture, emergent and dynamical systems concepts, multi-level selection, and radical behaviorism. Our study of these topics is anchored in a selectionist framework spanning neural, behavioral, and cultural levels (both phylogenetic and ontogentic). Students conduct basic research using a variety of setups including animal subjects, human microcultures, and computer-based games. The lab strices to discover and understand basic principles that can hold translational utility and eventually serve the welfare of socially organized humans and animals.

This lab is supervised by Dr. April Becker.

Evolutionary Culture Lab meets on Fridays from 10am-12pm.

Neurobehavioral EEG Laboratory
The primary focuses of the Neurobehavioral Laboratory are real time measures of behavior and brain activity, specifically Event Related Potentials, and how they relate to a Skinnerian perspective. Conceptually, the laboratory is involved in understanding how brain responses can help providing some missing pieces of the puzzle when it comes to comprehending complex human behavior. From an applied perspective the laboratory focuses on creating training procedures to help paralyzed patients gain operant control of their brain responses to move external devices and facilitate their overall independence.

This lab is supervised by Dr. Daniele Ortu.

Neurobehavioral EEG Laboratory meets on Wednesdays from 1-3pm.

Neuroplasticity and Repertoire Restoration Laboratory (NRRL)
The NRRL laboratory explores the links between behavior analysis and neuroscience. Students conduct basic research to measure and manipulate neural circuits to elucidate their role in lawful behavioral principles. NRRL also serves to develop better behaviorla measurement and procedural tools for use in translational neuroscience, to develop novel approaches to augmenting behavioral recovery from brain injury and disease in rodent models, and to conduct applied rehabilitation research with human brain injury patients.

This lab is supervised by Dr. April Becker.

NRRL meets on Mondays from 10am-12pm.

Organization for Reinforcement Contingencies with Animals (ORCA)
ORCA is a lab within the Behavior Analysis Department and also a registered UNT student organization. ORCA’s mission is to enhance the lives of animals and their guardians through behavior analytic research and to inform the public about these discoveries. Students learn about animal behavior and training, conduct research projects related to animal training, and volunteer with local community organizations. Current project sites include working with exotic animals at The Heard Museum and volunteering with a local service dog organization. Students conduct research related to applied animal training, human-animal interactions, and basic learning processes. These research projects are often conducted with students’ own pets or using the game PORTL.

This lab is supervised by Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz.

ORCA meets on Wednesdays from 3-5pm.

Strategies and Tactics in Application, Research, and Treatment – START Lab
The primary goal of this laboratory is on the application of behavioral principles to solve socially-relevant human problems. A substantive focus is on the use of digital and analog technologies to increase the precision as well as the scope of applied behavior analysis. Can we improve compliance with medical regimens? Motivate people to lose weight or exercise more? What role might technology play in allowing us to program and implement the relevant contingencies of reinforcement? Students in this lab will generate ideas, develop or adapt technologies, and use them to implement protocols to produce behavior change.

All participants will be expected to acquire basic programming, data analytic, presentation, and writing skills through participation in local, regional, national, and international conferences, publications, and grant applications.

This lab is supervised by Dr. Manish Vaidya.

START lab meets Thursdays from 3-5pm.

Training and Research: Autism Intervention Lab (TR:AIL)
The Training and Research: Autism Intervention Lab is dedicated to conducting applied research and providing supervised professional practice opportunities related to behavioral interventions for children and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Research and training opportunities are supported by the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center (UNT KFAC) and UNT Collabroative Action for the Neurodiverse (UNT CAN). The UNT KFAC provides focused and comprehensive applied behavior analytic intervention to children with ASD and related disorders. A program of UNT Housing and Residence Life, UNT CAN provides wraparound services to support neurodiverse college students living in residence halls on campus. Whenever possible, research and training experiences are interwoven with service delivery at UNT KFAC and UNT CAN. Current research topics or areas of interests include: assessment-based interventions for skill acquisition and the treatment of disruptive behavior, auditory and visual discrimination learning, conditioned reinforcement procedures, emergent verbal behavior, evaluating instructional arrangements that facilitate skill acquisition, observational learning, social skills, staff/caregiver training, and treatment integrity. The applied lab experiences can provide opportunities for case conceptualization, case management, implementation of behavior analytic interventions with consumers, and supervision of behavior technicians (UNT KFAC) or student mentors (UNT CAN).

This lab is supervised by Drs. Sam Bergmann and Karen Toussaint.

TR:AIL meets on Mondays from 4-5:15pm.