Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Kennon A. Lattal

Committee Co-Chair

Melissa D. Blank

Committee Member

Melissa D. Blank

Committee Member

Adam H. Doughty

Committee Member

Kathryn M. Kestner

Committee Member

Michael Perone


The Control response in a resurgence procedure has been described as the “gold standard” in isolating resurgence from other extinction-induced phenomena. Although Control responding is not generally observed during the resurgence test phase of animal-resurgence procedures, it is common to see such responding in human-operant resurgence procedures. Thus, it is necessary to identify the conditions under which Control responding may be observed. Using pigeons and rats as subjects, the current series of experiments examined the determinants of Control-operandum responding in a resurgence procedure. Experiment 1 assessed whether behavior with a pre-experimental reinforcement history would resurge if the Target response was maintained by a differential reinforcement of other (DRO) contingency. Experiment 2a was a systematic replication of Experiment 1; however, a four-phase resurgence procedure was used. This fourth phase was used to establish a reinforcement history for a simulated Control response with a reinforcement history. Experiment 2b, was a systematic replication of Experiment 2a, except this experiment was conducted with rats and subjects and using a within-session resurgence procedure. Finally, Experiment 3 was a within-subject replication of Experiment 2a and 2b that was designed to evaluate how the conditions under which a modeled Control response was maintained on the subsequence resurgence of that response using a four-phase resurgence procedure. The results of these four experiments indicate the following: 1) If Control responding is observed during a resurgence procedure, then the likely source of such responding is a previous history of reinforcement, 2) Resurgence of a response is dependent on the conditions under which that response was maintained prior to its elimination, and 3)The resurgence of multiple responses is hierarchical, with the order and length of training a determining factor in the magnitude and probability of resurgence. The results of all four experiments are discussed in relation to the interpretation of Control responding during the RT phase, hierarchical resurgence, and potential areas of application.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending