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Perspectivas em análise do comportamento

versão On-line ISSN 2177-3548


ZUCCOLO, Pedro Fonseca; CORCHS, Felipe D'Alessandro  e  NETO, Denigés Regis Maurel. Interpreting basic behavioral processes in an emotional face processing neuropsychological paradigm. Perspectivas [online]. 2012, vol.3, n.2, pp.87-101. ISSN 2177-3548.

Interpreting research in the field of neuroscience from a behavioral-analytic framework may be useful for behavior analysts, as it may help adapting technology developed outside the discipline for studying phenomena from the behavior analysis perspective. Furthermore, explanations for behavior originated in other theoretical traditions are based on behavioral phenomena and as such bring data of interest for the behavior analyst. Our objective was to analyze a widely explored subject in neuroscience, namely, the processing of emotional faces. One of the many experimental procedures used in the study of emotional face processing was analyzed based on the following questions: what are the functional relations between stimuli and responses that are assessed by this instrument? How could it be used in research with a behavioral-analytic perspective? We analyzed the Facial Recognition Task (Harmer, Rogers, Tunbridge, Cowen & Goodwin, 2003), a computerized test in which subjects must categorize human faces expressing different emotions as fast and as accurately as possible. The analysis of the task was conducted using concepts from behavior analysis related to classification of behavior and basic behavioral processes. We argue that this task may be seen as a test assessing stimulus control of information present in social interactions, specifically, as an analogue to the generalization gradient in which subjects must name stimuli they have been trained to respond to differentially throughout life. Several behavioral-analytic research questions for which this task may be useful are described in the conclusion.

Palavras-chave : behavior analysis; neuropsychological tests; facial expression; stimulus control.

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