Professor Carlos Aparicio of the psychology department at Salem State has published three articles in the past year. The first paper was titled, “Response–reinforcer contiguity versus response-rate–reinforcer-rate covariance in rats' lever pressing: Support for a multiscale view.” The article was published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior with Aparicio’s co-author William M. Baum.
The second paper, “Analyzing the magnitude effect in spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats,” was published in Behavioural Processes, and analyzed the magnitude effect in Spontaneously Hypertensive (SHR) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats choosing between a smaller-sooner (SSF) and a larger-later food (LLF) in the initial link of a concurrent-chains procedure.
The third paper, “Acquisition, Inhibitory Control, and Restoration of Lever Pressing in Spontaneously Hypertensive (SHR) and Lewis (LEW) Rats” was published in Conductual (European Journal). The study examined response acquisition, inhibitory control, and response restoration in spontaneously hypertensive (SHR) and the Lewis (LEW) rats, as rodent models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Aparicio says the papers all have two things in common. Decision-making and looking at choice behavior, particularly impulsive choice. Currently, Aparicio has four more publications either ready or soon-to-be-ready for submission, and four to five more data sets from experiments under analysis for publication in the upcoming year.
So how does someone keep so productive during a global pandemic? Well, for Professor Aparicio, it all comes down to hard work. Aparicio says that he has spent every day for the last 15 months — even Saturdays, Sundays, birthdays, and holidays — in the lab. While this seems like a huge commitment, Aparicio says that he tries to tell his students that to “do science you need to sacrifice yourself a little.”
The second and third papers were written in collaboration with two of Aparicio’s students, Jason Hensley and Malana Malonson. For Aparicio’s next publications he will be working with Hensley again, who is a MS in Behavior Analysis student and recently finished his thesis, titled, “Is the Lewis (LEW) rat an appropriate control for the Spontaneously Hypertensive rat (SHR)?” The thesis focuses on the study of impulsivity analyzing choice behavior in inbred strains of Lewis (LEW) and Spontaneously Hypertensive (SHR) rats. Based on the research, Aparicio and Hensley are working on writing the thesis into a paper, which is on its final draft and will be sent out for publication in the next few weeks.
Aparicio will be working with Malonson on finishing her Master’s thesis, which focuses on what happens when you introduce another variable (water available for rats to drink while waiting for food) into the choice experiment. Malonson and Aparicio hope to submit a paper for publication in the upcoming months.
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