Paul E. Touchette

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While the origins and developmental course of self-injurious behavior (SIB) remain relatively unknown, recent studies suggest a biological imbalance may potentiate or provoke the contagious recurrence of SIB patterns in individuals with severe developmental disabilities (DD). Evidence from several laboratories indicates that functioning, relations, and(More)
Line graphs that average response frequency over long periods obscure the major rate changes that indicate sources of behavioral control. A scatter plot can make patterns of responding identifiable and, in turn, suggest environmental features that occasion undesirable behavior. Use of scatter diagrams is illustrated in three cases.
Delayed prompting can produce errorless discrimination learning. There is inherent in the procedure a disparity in reinforcement density which favors unprompted over prompted responses. We used three schedules of reinforcement to investigate the impact of reinforcement probability on transfer of stimulus control. One schedule of reinforcement was equal(More)
A comprehensive baseline of emotional functioning was established for adults with Down syndrome. Five emotional factors were studied using groups of (a) adults with Down syndrome (n = 30), (b) clinical control subjects with dementia of the Alzheimer type (n = 18), and (c) elderly control subjects without mental retardation (n = 25). Results of planned(More)
Self-injuring behavior (SIB) is a life-threatening behavior exhibited by many species, including humans, and has no known cause and no agreed upon treatment. The role of the stress axis in the maintenance of this mysterious behavior was examined in subjects with life-long SIB. Over a 6-year period, 40 hr of direct observations of behavior and the(More)
Relations between self-injuring behavior (SIB), the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis, and response to an opiate antagonist were examined. Subjects were observed in their residential settings, while behavior was recorded. Blood was collected in the morning, evening, and immediately after SIB. Plasma beta-E was uncoupled from ACTH after SIB(More)
Eight severely retarded young men learned color and line-tilt discrimination. After 95% accuracy was achieved for both dimensions, they were combined to form "conflict-compound" stimuli in which prior reinforcement history was reversed for one element of the compound and unchanged for the other. When responding to the compound was 95% accurate, control(More)
Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is an untreatable and often life-threatening problem among individuals with developmental disorders, especially those diagnosed with autism. Functioning, relationships and processing of the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) system are "uncoupled" in subgroups of self-injuring individuals resulting in different ratios of ACTH and(More)
Conditional probability, calculated using sequential analysis techniques in four time conditions (2, 10, 30, and 60 seconds), provided evidence that successive episodes of self-injury were sequentially dependent. This unique distribution of sequential association for self-injurious behavior (SIB) was not related to frequency or rate of occurrence. Compared(More)
Naltrexone significantly attenuated self-injurious behavior in a 20-year-old mildly retarded autistic male patient. The patient was videotaped daily and behavior was evaluated with a time-sampling procedure. Behavioral ratings of SIB frequency, SIB severity, and activity were collected automatically with a computerized system. Learning and memory were(More)