Carla H. Lagorio
Degree: M.S., Ph.D. University of Florida
Area: Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavioral Economics, Behavioral Pharmacology
Position: Assistant Professor
Office: HHH 269
Teaching is my passion, and is where I devote a good amount of my time and energy. Over the past several years my focus has been in the area of learning and behavior analysis. At UWEC I frequently teach PSYC 281: Introduction to Behavior Analysis and Therapy, PSYC 302: Principles of earning, and PSYC 412: Experimental Analysis of Behavior. I am also interested in the introduction to and history of psychology, and each semester I offer student learning opportunities in laboratory research (PSYC 396), teaching (PSYC 397), and application of behavioral principles to canines (PSYC 498).
My research interests are broad but all related to better understanding how environmental variables affect behavior. I have an extensive research background in behavior analysis, behavioral pharmacology, and behavioral economics, which is reflected in the research conducted in my basic nonhuman rat laboratory. Outside of the lab I am involved in several projects that are both research-based and applied community services - the Behavioral Applications Regarding Canines and Food Waste Reduction projects; more details about these programs are below. To provide a sample of my research interests, here are several titles of my current projects:
"Assessing Differences in Impulsivity in an Animal Model of Risk Taking"
"The Impact of Adolescent Alcohol Self-Administration on Impulsivity in a Rodent Model"
"Comparing Concurrent Choice and Demand Curve Procedures as Assessments of Reinforcer Value"
"The Impact of Dopamine Agonists on Learning and Response Acquisition"
"Reducing Student Food Waste on College Campuses"
"Factors Contributing to the Efficacy of Skill Acquisition in Canines"
I work with approximately 15 students every semester on projects broadly related to my teaching and research interests. In addition, I work closely with 30 or more students on several service projects benefiting the university or community.
Beyond my research projects listed above, I actively involve students in my teaching efforts. Student academic apprentice (SAA) involvement benefits students by re-exposing them to the course materials while allowing them to take a more senior role in terms of involvement and learning about teaching duties. SAAs take a more demanding and engaged role based on the course for which they apprentice (100-, 200-, 300-, or 400-level). Each semester I reach out to 6-10 exceptional students to offer them SAA opportunities for the upcoming semester.
I am also passionate about several community and university service activities and am always seeking students who are interested in participating in these initiatives. To describe these briefly:
Each term, 10-12 students per semester participate in my Behavioral Applications Regarding Canines (BARC) program. This is an intensive internship experience in which students apply behavioral principles to increase obedience training and reduce problematic behaviors with dogs at the local Eau Claire Animal Humane Association in an effort to increase adoptability and long-term placement potential. In addition, students read about animal training, develop implementation programs, and assist with community canine ownership. Our goals are to not only help canine behavior but to help owners understand how their behavior can impact the relationship. Students who are interested in a career in animal behavior need to have a solid understanding of behavioral principles through coursework, combined with applied experience through the Psychology or
I am also interested in local community sustainability efforts. Politics aside, if you want to save the planet, then you have to know how to change behavior. Even if my efforts are not policy-wide or very far reaching, I am still actively involved in efforts to better understand sustainability issues and to change behavior for the better on a community-wide scale. Toward this aim, I have involved students in a variety of projects, including increasing recycling among faculty on campus and reducing campus food waste.
In particular, for several years students and I have been measuring the amount of student food waste in the main cafeteria and have been implementing procedures aimed to decrease this excessive amount that heads to landfills. Targeting the issue at the source (food waste) is a primary concern; however, I have also become very interested in assisting with unsold food re-purposing efforts in the community. All of these efforts lead to less eatable food heading to the landfills. Any students with similar interests in behavioral change and environmental sustainability are encouraged to contact me for opportunities.
Students in my lab take an active role in the various activities associated with research, including developing research or intervention ideas, actively collecting, graphing, and analyzing the data, writing grants to support the efforts, presenting the research at different speaking engagements or conferences, and writing completed results for eventual publication. There are several levels of student engagement in all of my different projects, and those who are interested in gaining experience should contact me to learn more about prerequisites and how they might become involved.
Select Publications and Presentations since 2012
Lagorio, C. H. & Winger, G. D. ( Under Review). Pramipexole-induced increases in responding for food-paired stimuli in rhesus monkeys . Psychopharmacology.
Lagorio, C. H., & Yanagita, B. T. (October, 2015). Basic Research Supporting the use of Token Economies in Applied Settings. Book chapter in Reed, D. & DiGennaro Reed, F. (Eds), Bridging the Gap between Basic and Applied Research in Autism Service Delivery (Springer Publishers).
Dahl, E., Barlow, M. A., Salzer, A. R., & Lagorio, C. H. (May, 2015). Comparing concurrent choice and demand curve procedures as assessments of reinforcer value. Poster presentation at the Association for Behavior Analysis International 41st Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas.
Reardon, M. M., Custer, T. N., Yanagita, B. T., & Lagorio, C. H. (April, 2015). Examining food waste in a university cafeteria setting. Poster presentation at the Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois.
Lagorio, C. H. (April, 2015). Three minutes to midnight: Are we are still not acting to save the world? Invited single-track address at the Annual Meeting of the Four Corners Association for Behavior Analysis, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sukhtankar, D. D., Lagorio, C. H., & Ko, M. C. (2014 ). Effects of the NOP agonist SCH221510 on producing and attenuating reinforcing effects as measured by drug self-administration in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology, 745, 182-189.
Lagorio, C. H ., & Winger, G. D. (2014). Random-Ratio Schedules Produce Greater Demand for I.V. Drug Administration than Fixed-Ratio Schedules in Rhesus Monkeys. Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3477-6
Lagorio, C. H. (August, 2014). Behavioral Research Targeting Community-Based and Global Sustainability Issues. Invited single-track address at the annual Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis conference, Madison, Wisconsin.
Yanagita, B. T., McGrath, S., & Lagorio, C. H. (May, 2014). Cross-strain discounting in rats: Several levels of analysis. Poster presentation at the Association for Behavior Analysis 40th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois.
Toegel, F. J., Yanagita, B. T., Kerber, E. M. & Lagorio, C. H. (May, 2014). Classroom projects to motivate student involvement in behaviorally-based community initiatives. Poster presentation at the Association for Behavior Analysis 40th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois.
Hackenberg, T. D., & Lagorio, C. H. (February, 2014). Leveling the Playing Field: The Importance of Procedural Parity in Cross-Species Comparisons of Decision Making. Invited address at the 106th Annual Meeting of the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Charleston, South Carolina.
Yanagita, B. T. & Lagorio, C. H. (September, 2013). Delay discounting: Assessing reliability of k-values in two rat strains. Poster presentation at the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis 9th Annual Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Lagorio, C. H. (May, 2013). Effects of fixed- and random-ratio schedules on drug and food demand in rhesus monkeys. Oral presentation at the Association for Behavior Analysis 39th Annual Convention, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Lagorio, C. H. (March, 2013). Behavioral and Pharmacological Assessments of Impulsive and Compulsive Responding. Invited single-track address at the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis, Fort Worth, Texas.
Priebe, J., Lagorio, C. H., & Woods, J. H. (June, 2012). Lack of arecoline self-administration in rats with different operant histories. Poster presentation at the 39th Annual Pharmacology Research Colloquium of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Lagorio, C. H., Winger, G., & Woods, J. H. (February, 2012). Toward an Animal Model of Compulsion: Effects of Dopamine Agonists on Cue-Induced Responding. Presentation at the 26th Annual Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan Conference, Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Lagorio, C. H., & Hackenberg, T. D. (2012). Risky Choice in Pigeons: A Parametric Analysis of Preference for Fixed and Variable Amounts in a Token-Reinforcement Paradigm. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 98, 139-154.