Date of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis



Committee Chair

Wayne Mitchell


Stimulus equivalence-based training allows learners to gain new knowledge by deriving novel relations without being directly taught. This is an important skill that some individuals, especially in special populations, have as a deficit. One possible reason individuals may struggle with stimulus equivalence is a deficit in visual experience that promotes selective attention to stimulus properties. With the advancement of technology, visual tracking and visual scanning offers a means to assess visual behavior in detail while learning stimulus associations. Identifying individual differences, and deficits in visual scanning behavior should provide researchers with better means to design interventions, promoting appropriate visual scanning training and therefore increasing the probability of subsequent stimulus equivalence. The present study is designed to describe visual scanning behavior during a stimulus equivalence training task. The visual behavior of twelve adults were recorded using the Tobii Eye Tracker as they were trained on a series of stimulus-stimulus relations. Pilot work has demonstrated that as participants participate in a stimulus equivalence task, visual scanning begins to decrease, and response latency becomes faster and more accurate. It is hypothesized that these results indicate that as participants become familiar with the stimuli, they become less influenced by stimulus salience and gain greater volitional control over their attending indicating greater associative learning. The purpose of this study is to further document these findings and support that visual scanning behavior is crucible to account for individual differences in associative learning.


visual scanning, eye tracking, stimulus equivalence, associative learning, visual behavior

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis


© Katelyn Jones

Open Access