Department of Research
Program Director: Max Horovitz, Ph.D.
About our Program
The Department of Research at Keystone is committed to maintaining a line of research that keeps us at the forefront of behavioral health treatment. Our treatment providers are uniquely suited to serve as both therapists and research scientists due to the nature of our discipline. Applied behavior analysis is founded upon the principles of evidence-based treatment. As such, our therapists use data to select the best treatment and then collect data to ensure that the treatment they have selected is working as they expected. The Department of Research at Keystone helps to keep our therapists informed of current research, including a monthly review of the most up-to-date research, so they can make the best decisions regarding treatment selection. The department also develops and conducts in-house research to give back to the field and provides other therapists in the community with the evidence they need to make the best treatment decisions.
Research conducted at Keystone has covered a wide range of topics, including reinforcement, challenging behavior, discrimination learning, professional development, feeding, stimulus equivalence, choice and preference, social skills, organizational behavior management, treatment integrity, early intervention and much more. Research at Keystone has been conducted independently and in collaboration with other clinicians, researchers and universities. The Department of Research is continually looking for opportunities to collaborate with others to complete research projects.
We enjoy sharing our research findings with colleagues through conference presentations and publications in peer-reviewed journals. However, our primary purpose for conducting research is to ensure that we are providing our clients with best practices.
Current Research Projects
The role of working memory in the development of false memories in children with autism spectrum disorders
Researchers: Mike Toglia (University of North Florida), Tracy Alloway (University of North Florida)
Working memory is a neural system that draws connections between sensory experiences. In other words, it is responsible for “telling the story” behind the events we experience. Previous research suggests that working memory is at the core of the production of “false memories” produced by eyewitnesses during testimony. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been shown to have deficits in making social inferences, a concept closely related to working memory. This research projects attempts to determine whether individuals with ASD will score lower than neurotypical children on working memory tasks and form fewer false memories as a result.