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Richard Serna

image of Serna Richard
Richard SernaInterim Chair of Psychology, Associate Professor
  • CollegeCollege of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • DepartmentPsychology
  • Phone(978) 934-4000
  • EmailRichard_Serna@uml.edu

Research Interests

experimental analysis of behavior; applied behavior analysis; stimulus control; discrimination learning; stimulus equivalence; distance learning; computer simulation; autism; developmental disabilities

discrimination learning, both visual and auditory; stimulus equivalence and the five-term contingency; distance learning for training paraprofessionals in fundamental behavioral intervention skills for the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities

Education

  • Ph D: Psychology, (1987), Utah State University - Logan, UT
    Supporting Area: Instructional Psychology
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: An Investigation of the Five-Term Contingency and the Conditional Control of Equivalence Relations
  • BA: Psychology, (1980), University of New Mexico - Albuquerque, NM
    Supporting Area: Music
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: 'Superstitious' Responding in Humans under Probability and Variable Interval Schedules

Publications

  • Quinn, B., Serna, R. (2017) "Challenges and Barriers to Identifying Pain in the Special Education Classroom: A Review," Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 4:4 pp. 328-338
  • Begum, M., Serna, R., Yanco, H. (2016) "Are robots ready to deliver autism interventions? A comprehensive review.," International Journal of Social Robotics 8:2 pp. 157 - 181
  • Serna, R., Foran, M.M., Cooke, C., Hurd, K.E., Tello, A.J., Vangapalli, R., Hamad, C.D. (2016) "Teaching Discrete Trial Training: The Effects of Asynchronous Computer-Based Instruction on Live Implementation," Journal of Special Education Technology 31:1 pp. 39
  • Begum, M., Serna, R., Kontak, D., Allspaw, J., Kuczynski, J., Yanco, H., Suarez, J. (2015) "Measuring the Efficacy of Robots in Autism Therapy: How Informative are Standard HRI Metrics’," pp. 335–342
  • Serna, R., Lobo, H.E., Fleming, C.K., Fleming, R.K., Curtin, C., Foran, M.M., Hamad, C.D. (2015) "Innovations in Behavioral Intervention Preparation for Paraprofessionals Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder," Journal of Special Education Technology 30:1 pp. 1
  • Hamad, C.D., Serna, R., Morrison, L., Fleming, R. (2010) "Extending the Reach of Early Intervention Training for Practitioners: A Preliminary Investigation of an Online Curriculum for Teaching Behavioral Intervention Knowledge in Autism to Families and Service Providers," Infants and Young Children 23:3 pp. 195-208
  • Serna, R., P?rez-Gonz?lez, L.A. (2003) "An Analysis of Generalized Contextual Control of Conditional Discriminations," Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior 79:3 pp. 383
  • P?rez-Gonz?lez, L.A., Serna, R. (2003) "Transfer of Specific Contextual Functions to Novel Conditional Discriminations," Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior 79:3 pp. 395
  • Serna, R., Carlin, M.T. (2001) "Guiding Visual Attention in Individuals with mental Retardation," International Review of Research in Mental Retardation 24:1 pp. 321-357
  • Serna, R., Wilkinson, K.M., McLivane, W.J. (1998) "Blank-Comparison Assessment of Stimulus-Stimulus Relations in Individuals With Mental Retardation: A Methodological Note," American Journal on Mental Retardation 103:1 pp. 60-74
  • Dube, W.V., Serna, R. (1998) "Re-evaluation of a Programmed Method To Teach Generalized Identity Matching to Sample," Research in developmental disabilities 19:4 pp. 347-79
  • Serna, R., Dube, W.V., McIlvane, W.J. (1997) "Assessing Same/Different Judgments in Individuals with Severe Intellectual Disabilities: A Status Report," Research in developmental disabilities 18:5 pp. 343-68
  • Stoddard, L.T., Serna, R. (1994) "A note on stimulus control shaping and one-trial learning in two- and three-year-old children," Psychological Record 44:2 pp. 289
  • Dube, W.V., Green, G., Serna, R. (1993) "Auditory successive conditional discrimination and auditory stimulus equivalence classes," Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior 59:1 pp. 103-114
  • Stromer, R., McIlvane, W.J., Serna, R. (1993) "Complex stimulus control and equivalence," The Psychological Record 43:4 pp. 585-598
  • Serna, R., Osborne, J.G. (1993) "Free-time as a consequence for behavior in classroom settings: A critical review," Journal of Behavioral Education 3:2 pp. 165-186
  • McIlvane, W.J., Dube, W.V., Green, G., Serna, R. (1993) "Programming conceptual and communication skill development: A methodological stimulus-class analysis," Enhancing children's communication: Research foundations for intervention. pp. 243-285
  • Serna, R., Stoddard, L.T., McIlvane, W.J. (1992) "Developing auditory stimulus control: A note on methodology," Journal of Behavioral Education 2:4 pp. 391-403
  • Serna, R., Green, G., Shriver, E.K. (1991) "Functional analysis of contextual stimulus control," Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 39:1 pp. 227
  • Serna, R., Crossman, E.K. (1989) "Interpolation of a single fixed-ratio component in a baseline of fixed-ratio schedules," The Psychological Record 39:2 pp. 271-283
  • Crossman, E.K., Serna, R. (1982) "Response-force manipulations in fixed-ratio schedules," Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 20:6 pp. 314-316

Presentations

  • Grant review and critique: Lessons from dancing with and being the devil - Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, - Waltham, MA.
  • Pitch discrimination in children with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities: Preliminary findings. - Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, March 2012 - Annapolis, MD
  • Auditory discrimination in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders - Auditory discrimination in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders , 2011 - Lowell, MA
  • Auditory learning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders - Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Implications for Intervention, October 2011 - Waltham, MA.
  • Assessing auditory same/different judgments in individuals with intellectual disabilities: Development of a nonverbal methodology. - Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, March 2009 - New Orleans, LA.
  • Discriminability of different concurrently available reward contingencies in children with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities: Unexpected findings. - Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 2008 - Annapolis, MD.
  • Applied behavior analysis therapy for children with autism: What is it, what it is not, and where it needs to go - Grand Rounds, Department of Pediatrics, 2007
  • Aprendizagem de discrimina?o auditiva em indiv'duos com falta de habilidades intelectuais: Onde estamos e aonde precisamos ir. - Brazilian Psychological Society, October 2007 - Florianopolis, Brazil.
  • - Symposium Discussant: Stimulus relations in humans, May 2007 - San Diego, CA.
  • "Development of a behavioral teaching technology for individuals with intellectual disabilities - Department of Psychology, 2005 - Lowell, MA.
  • Symposium Discussant: Experimental analysis of conditional discrimination learning and equivalence class formation., May 2005 - Chicago, IL.
  • Tecnologia comportamental para ensinar a escolher de acordo com o modelo. - Brazilian Association for Psychotherapy and Behavioral Medicine/Association for Behavior Analysis International, August 2004 - Campinas, Brazil.
  • Teaching visual stimulus same/different judgments to children with severe intellectual disabilities: Investigating the efficacy of the StartMatching! curriculum. - 37th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 2004 - San Diego, CA.
  • Behavioral technology for teaching matching-to-sample. - 36th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 2003 - Annapolis, MD.
  • Acquisition of stimulus control under conditions expected to produce the "blocking" effect. - 35th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 2002 - San Diego, CA.
  • Toward a true technology of stimulus control transfer. - 34th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 2001 - Charleston, SC.
  • New developments in establishing same/different judgments in individuals with intellectual disabilities - Parsons Research Center, 1999 - Lawrence, KS
  • Toward a true technology of stimulus control transfer: The role of attending. - American Psychological Association, August 1999 - Boston, MA
  • The role of feature-classes in stimulus-control shaping. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1999 - Chicago, IL.
  • New approaches to teaching same/different judgments to individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. - meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1999 - Chicago, IL.
  • New developments and directions in stimulus control shaping - Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, 1998 - Savannah, GA.
  • New developments and directions in stimulus control shaping. - Fifteenth Annual Meeting, October 1998 - Savannah, GA.
  • Assessing visual perception in individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1998 - Orlando, FL.
  • Assessing same/different judgments in neurobehavioral testing: Some potential problems in using nameable stimuli. - 31st Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1998 - Gatlinburg, TN
  • Computerized nonverbal assessment of line-orientation in individuals with mental retardation. - Berkshire Conference on Behavior Analysis and Therapy, October 1997 - Amherst, MA.
  • Generalized contextual control of conditional discriminations and unreinforced conditional selection. - Third European Meeting for the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour, July 1997 - Dublin, Ireland
  • Teaching conditional discriminations: Common pitfalls and how to avoid them. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1997 - Atlanta, Georgia
  • A stimulus-class analysis of complex stimulus-control shaping procedures. - 30th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1997 - Riverside, CA.
  • Behavioral analyses of rudimentary reading in individuals with developmental limitations. - 30th annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1997 - Riverside, CA.
  • Development of a computer and behavioral teaching technology for individuals with severe learning difficulties - MAPPS Conference, 1996 - Arlington, MA.
  • A model for integrating research and practice in teaching basic discrimination skills. - Proceedings of the 29th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1996 - Gatlinburg, TN.
  • Contextual control of conditional discrimination - Department of Psychology, 1995 - Albuquerque, NM.
  • Do sorting skills predict matching-to-sample performance in students with mental retardation? - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1995 - Washington, DC.
  • Methods for assessing feature-class membership in series of graded stimuli. - 28th annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1995 - Gatlinburg, TN.
  • A stimulus-class analysis of stimulus control shaping procedures: Preliminary studies. - 7th annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 1994 - Gatlinburg, TN.
  • Do sorting skills predict matching-to-sample performance in students with mental retardation? - Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, October 1994 - Savannah, GA.
  • Emergent five-term contingency performances. - Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis, October 1994 - Savannah, GA.
  • A tabletop protocol for teaching attending skills. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1994 - Atlanta, GA.
  • Hierarchical and compound stimulus control accounts of matching-to-sample. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1994 - Atlanta, GA.
  • A comparison of two training procedures to establish contextual stimulus control of conditional discriminations. - Fifth Conference of the Spanish Society of Comparative Psychology, 1993 - Barcelona, Spain.
  • Stimulus control shaping at 30: Some old problems and new solutions. - 26th annual Gatlinburg conference, May 1993 - Gatlinburg, TN.
  • A tabletop protocol for assessing pre-readiness skills. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1993 - Chicago, IL.
  • Computer-assisted instruction to teach a vocational skill. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1993 - Chicago, IL.
  • Stimulus control shaping and auditory discrimination learning in individuals with severe intellectual disabilities. - 26th annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, March 1993 - Gatlinburg, TN.
  • Complex stimulus control and equivalence. - 15th Symposium on Quantitative Analysis, June 1992 - Cambridge, MA.
  • Applications of stimulus equivalence: Teaching Icelandic noun classification with higher-order contextual control. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1992 - San Francisco, CA.
  • Stimulus control technology for teaching functional academic skills. - American Psychological Association, August 1991 - San Francisco, CA.
  • Functional analysis of contextual stimulus control., August 1991 - San Francisco, CA.
  • Interchangeability of stimulus terms in five-term contingencies. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1991 - Atlanta, GA.
  • Development of a system for teaching motion video discriminations to mentally retarded students. - Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, April 1990 - Brainerd, MN.
  • Behavior consultant: An expert Behavioral Treatment Selection advisor. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1987 - Nashville, TN.
  • Match-to-sample experiments on an apple with a joystick. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1987 - Nashville, TN.
  • An expert system for behavior analysis. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1986 - Milwaukee, WI.
  • Individualized group instruction using interactive videodisc. Paper presented at the meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children, New Orleans, LA., April 1986
  • A computer-assisted instruction system for group settings. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1985 - Columbus, OH.
  • Error analysis in complex matching-to-sample tasks. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1985 - Columbus, OH.
  • A computerized version of the commons game. - North American Simulation and Gaming Association, October 1984 - Iowa City, Iowa.
  • Verbal Behavior: A preliminary study of its impact on research. - Association for Behavior Analysis, May 1984 - Nashville, TN.
  • A microcomputer controlled match-to-sample system. - Association for Behavioral Analysis, May 1984 - Nashville, TN.
  • Computing observer agreement: Recent trends in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. - Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, April 1981 - Denver, CO.
  • "Superstitious" responding in humans under probability and variable interval schedules. - Association for Behavioral Analysis, May 1980 - Dearborne, MI.

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Stimulus Control in Mental Retardation (2012), Contract - NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
    Serna, R. (Principal)
  • Behavioral and sensory evaluation of auditory discrimination in autism (2007), Grant -
  • University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Resear (2012), Contract - U.S. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
    Serna, R. (Principal)
  • Stimulus Control in Mental Retardation (2011), Contract - NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
    Serna, R. (Principal)
  • University Centers for Excellence for Developmental Disabilities Education (2012), Contract - U.S. DEPT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
    Serna, R. (Principal)
  • Behavioral Intervention in Autism: Practitioner Skills (2012), Contract - NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
    Serna, R. (Principal)
  • Behavioral technology for teaching symbolic relations -- Phase II (2006), Grant - NICDH Grant
  • Participant services (2004), Grant -
  • Signal detection-based analyses of stimulus control development (2004), Grant -
  • Icon Teacher: Stimulus control shaping technology (2004), Grant -
  • Behavioral technology for teaching symbolic relations -- Phase I (2003), Grant -
    Serna, R.
  • Studies of stimulus control in mental retardation (2002), Grant -
  • A stimulus control analysis of attending (2000), Grant -
  • Investigations of visual perception abilities in individuals with severe intellectual disabilities (1999), Grant -
  • Research in Mental Retardation (1996), Grant -
  • StartMatching!: Behavioral technology for teaching matching skills (1999), Grant -
  • Stimulus control shaping and relational learning in mental retardation (1994), Grant - Studies of stimulus control in mental retardation
  • Stimulus control transfer in mental retardation (1994), Grant -
  • Studies of stimulus control in mental retardation (1990), Grant -