W David  Pierce Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

W David Pierce

Emeritus Professor
University of Alberta

I am currently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta (Canada). I am the former Director of the Centre for Experimental Sociology, and retired Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neuroscience (Medicine). I am also the past Director of the Behavioural Research Unit of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Diseases Laboratory (MCVD Lab) in the Alberta Diabetes Institute. My interests are related to behavior analysis, obesity and behavioral neuroscience.

Biography

W. David Pierce is Professor, Emeritus, of Sociology at the University of Alberta, Canada. He has investigated a biobehavioral model of activity anorexia, exercise-induced taste aversion and behavioral-neurometabolic determinants of obesity. Currently, his research is focused on wheel-running reinforcement, the response-deprivation hypothesis and extensions of behavioral momentum theory.

At the present time I continue as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, an award given for my significant contributions to the discipline of psychology. In the past, I received the Faculty of Arts Research Award (Professor) for outstanding research and scholarship, and was nominated for the Gordon Kaplin University Award for lifetime achievement in research (especially my work on activity anorexia). My research interests are broad and varied, but I have emphasized the experimental analysis of choice and preference, the effects of reward on intrinsic motivation, conditioned taste aversion induced by physical activity, a bio-behavioral model of activity anorexia, and evolution, environment and obesity.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavior analysis, Learning, Evolution and Obesity, Behavioral Neuroscience, Obesity and Activity-Based Anorexia.

Books

Articles

Behavioral Processes, 133, 37-43

Evidence for positive, but not negative, behavioral contrast with wheel-running


Published: Nov 01, 2016 by Behavioral Processes, 133, 37-43
Authors: Belke, T. & Pierce, W. D.

The effect of extinction differed in the changed component as a function of the type of operant, but not in the unchanged component. This ruled out the automatic reinforcement effect of wheel running as a bridge for transferring the extinction effect between components. Arousal, negative induction, and a shift from high to low valued reinforcement were considered as potential accounts for the effects in the unchanged component.

Frontiers in Nutrition: Clinical Nutrition, 10 October

Mechanisms of co-morbidities associated with the metabolic syndrome: Insights f


Published: Oct 10, 2016 by Frontiers in Nutrition: Clinical Nutrition, 10 October
Authors: Diane, A., Pierce, W. D., Kelly, S. E., Sokolik, S., Borthwick, F., et al.

The purpose of this review is to highlight areas of recent advancement made possible by the JCR obese-prone rat model including; emerging appreciation of the “thrifty gene” hypothesis in the context of obesity, and how chronic inflammation may drive obesogenesis.

Behavioural Processes,124, 1-9

Wheel-running reinforcement in free-feeding and food-deprived rats


Published: Mar 01, 2016 by Behavioural Processes,124, 1-9
Authors: Belke, T. & Pierce, W. D. (2015)

The overall pattern of results suggested different sources of control for wheel running: intrinsic motivation, contingencies of automatic reinforcement, and food-restricted wheel running. An implication is that generalizations about operant responding for wheel running in food-deprived rats may not extend to wheel running and operant responding of free-feeding animals.

Learning and Motivation

Effects of extinction on wheel running and lever pressing as operant behaviors w


Published: Nov 01, 2015 by Learning and Motivation
Authors: Belke, T. W., Mann, S., & Pierce, W. D.

Rats were exposed to a multiple schedule in which they pressed a lever on a variable-ratio schedule for wheel-running reinforcement in one component and pressed a lever or completed wheel revolutions on a fixed-ratio schedule for 15% sucrose solution reinforcement in the changed component. The effect of extinction differed in the changed component as a function of the type of operant, but not in the unchanged component.

Journal of Endocrinology, 226, 193-206

Cardiometabolic and reproductive benefits of early dietary restriction and volun


Published: Sep 01, 2015 by Journal of Endocrinology, 226, 193-206
Authors: Diane, A., Kupreeva, M., Borthwick, F., Proctor, S. D., Pierce, W. D., & Vine, D.

The energy restriction and exercise combination in obese PCOS-prone animals significantly increased plasma sex-hormone binding globulin, hypothalamic cocaine-and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) and Kisspeptin mRNA expression to levels of the Lean-Control group, and this was further associated with improvements in estrous cyclicity.

Nutrition & Diabetes (2015) 5, e178; doi:10.1038/nutd.2015.28

Differential Expression of Hypothalamic Metabolic and Inflammatory Genes in Resp


Published: Aug 24, 2015 by Nutrition & Diabetes (2015) 5, e178; doi:10.1038/nutd.2015.28
Authors: Diane, A., W. D. Pierce, Mangat, R., Borthwick, F., Nelson, R., Russell, J. C., Heth, C. D., Jacobs, Rene, Vine, D., Pr

We demonstrate in JCR obese-prone rats that the metabolic and inflammatory response of the brain to CR is genotype dependent.

Behavioural Processes, 116, 1-7

Effect of sucrose availability on wheel-running as an operant and as a reinforci


Published: Jul 01, 2015 by Behavioural Processes, 116, 1-7
Authors: Belke, T. & Pierce, W. D. (2015)

Overall, our findings suggest that wheel-running rate regardless of its function (operant or reinforcement) is maintained by automatically generated consequences (automatic reinforcement) and is increased as an operant by adding experimentally arranged sucrose reinforcement (extrinsic reinforcement).

Journal of Applied Physiology

Interrelationship of CB1R and OBR pathways in regulation of metabolic, ...


Published: Jul 15, 2014 by Journal of Applied Physiology
Authors: Abdoulaye Diane , Donna F. Vine , James C. Russell , C. Donald Heth , W. David Pierce , Spencer D. Proctor

We hypothesized the cannabinoid-1 receptor and leptin receptor (ObR) operate synergistically to modulate metabolic, neuroendocrine, and behavioral responses of animals exposed to a survival challenge (food restriction and wheel running). Our research supports an interrelationship between cannabinoid-1 receptor and ObR pathways in regulation of energy balance and physical activity.

Behavioural Processes

Effect of sucrose availability and pre-running on the intrinsic value of wheel..


Published: Mar 15, 2014 by Behavioural Processes
Authors: Belke, T., & Pierce, W. D.

Rats responded on a two-component multiple schedule of reinforcement in which lever pressing produced the opportunity to run in a wheel in one component of the schedule (reinforcer component) and wheel running produced the opportunity to consume sucrose solution in the other component (operant component). Differences in wheel-running rates between components were discussed in terms of arousal, undermining of intrinsic motivation, and behavioral contrast.

Behavioural Processes, 118, 1-7

Effect of sucrose availability on wheel-running as an operant and as a reinforci


Published: Mar 01, 2014 by Behavioural Processes, 118, 1-7
Authors: Belke, T. & Pierce, W. D.

The current study investigated the effect of motivational manipulations on operant wheel running for sucrose reinforcement and on wheel running as a behavioral consequence for lever pressing, within the same experimental context.

Obesity

Feeding History and Obese-Prone Genotype Increase Survival of Rats...


Published: Sep 15, 2012 by Obesity
Authors: Abdoulaye Diane, W. David Pierce, C. Donald Heth, James C. Russell, Denis Richard & Spencer D. Proctor

Prior food restriction of juvenile obese-prone rats induces a survival benefit beyond genotype that is related to achievement of homeostasis. This metabolic adaptive process may help explain the development of human obesity in the presence of an unstable food environment which subsequently transitions to an abundant food supply.

News

Title Change: Pierce & Cheney "Behavior Analysis & Learning" 6th Edition, 2017

By: W David Pierce

Using a consistent Skinnerian perspective, Behavior Analysis and Learning: A Biobehavioral Approach, Sixth Edition for publication in 2017 provides an advanced introduction to the principles of behavior analysis and learned behaviors, covering a full range of principles from basic respondent and operant conditioning through applied behavior analysis into cultural design.  The textbook uses Darwinian, neurophysiological, and biological theories and research to inform B. F. Skinner’s philosophy of radical behaviorism. 

The sixth edition expands focus on neurophysiological mechanisms and their relation to the experimental analysis of behavior, providing updated studies and references to reflect current expansions and changes in the field of behavior analysis.   By bringing together ideas from behavior analysis, neuroscience, and epigenetics under a selectionist framework, this textbook facilitates understanding of behavior at environmental, genetic, and neurophysiological levels.  This “grand synthesis” of behavior, neuroscience, and neurobiology roots behavior firmly in biology.  The book includes special sections, “New Directions,” “Focus On,” “Note On,” “On the Applied Side,” and “Advanced Section,” which enhance student learning and provide greater insight on specific topics.

This book is a valuable resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology or other behavior-based disciplines, especially behavioral neuroscience.  For additional resources to use alongside the textbook, consult the Companion Website (not yet available).

W. David Pierce is Professor, Emeritus, of Sociology at the University of Alberta, Canada. He has investigated a biobehavioral model of activity anorexia, exercise-induced taste aversion and behavioral-neurometabolic determinants of obesity. Currently, his research is focused on wheel-running reinforcement, the response-deprivation hypothesis and extensions of behavioral momentum theory.

Carl D. Cheney is Professor, Emeritus, of Psychology at Utah State University, USA. He taught behavior analysis and physiological psychology, and published widely in the experimental analysis of behavior—conducting basic analyses of predator-prey interactions, diet selection in domestic livestock, as well as reinforcement-schedule alterations and transitions in humans. His current research is focused on encouraging the wider use of behavior analysis in all appropriate situations.