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ABACLive Cambridge Center Series Presents: Martha Pelaez, PhD: Infant Social Learning: Behavior-Analytic Interventions


Wednesday, June 30,  2021

Martha Pelaez, PhD

Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability:

You must register prior to the LIVE event to have access to the video. Video closes 10 days after the LIVE webinar.

Video closes 7/10/21 at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)

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Event Information


During this 2-hour event Dr. Pelaez will: First, provide experimental illustrations of how operant conditioning methodologies and social reinforcement are essential to furthering our understanding of infant social learning phenomena; Second, offer procedures and interventions that have advanced our research with infants “at-risk” of autism and other developmental challenges; and Third, discuss research tactics that can be quick and effective to applied behavior analysts conducting interventions with young infants. It is the hope of the presenter that these procedures will be use more widely and more frequently in designing basic experimental research and in applied interventions with young children at-risk of developmental delays.

Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.


By the end of this event participants should be able to:

  • Identify several of the infant learning phenomena and areas that Dr. Pelaez and colleagues have investigated.
  • Identify several behavioral markers of infants “at risk” (e.g., eye gaze away) and their typical interactive behavior with caregivers.
  • Identify several interventions that use reinforcement contingencies provided by caregivers (e.g., using touch) to effectively establish early communication skills and social responses.
  • Identify several of the infant operant responses trained in the studies presented (target behaviors) (e.g., eye-contact responses).


Martha Pelaez is a Frost Professor, College of Education, at FIU. Her Ph.D, is in Developmental Psychology. Dr. Pelaez teaches courses in Educational Psychology, Child Development, Research & Evaluation: Single Subject Designs, and directs infant and early childhood research. She supervises doctoral students. Dr. Pelaez’s research has been supported by NIH to investigate mother-infant interactions and early social–learning processes, as well design applied interventions with children at risk of developmental delays, depression, and early autism. Her theoretical developmental contributions include a taxonomy of rule-governed behavior and a textbook on dynamical systems approach to child development (with Gary Novak, 2004, in press). She has conducted basic-experimental research on derived-relational responding and intelligence (with D. O’Hora & D. Barnes-Holmes, 2005, 2008); infant learning of joint attention and social referencing (Pelaez, et al. 2012; Pelaez & Monlux, 2020); the role of maternal vocal imitation on infant learning (Pelaez, Virues, & Gerwitz, 2011a, 2011b; Neiny & Pelaez, 2020, 2021) maternal depression and the effects of touch on infant behavior (with T. Field, 1996–). Dr. Pelaez has published more than 100 articles in refereed journals (including the American Psychologist; Child Development; Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis; Behavior Analysis in Practice; Perspectives on Behavior Science), dozens of chapters and monographs, and a textbook on Child Development (with G. Novak). She is an ABAI Fellow, APA Fellow, and Trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.


The presenter and/or presenter's  family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.


    • Behavior Analysts earn 2 CEUs (Learning): LIVE & RECORDING
    • Psychologists earn 2 CEs: LIVE ONLY
    • Not eligible for NBCC, AOTA, or ASWB credit hours. You may download a certificate of attendance if your profession is not represented.

Additional Information

  • You must attend the entire event to receive credit.
  • Must submit all attendance codes and pass the post-test (see Expected Learning Outcomes).
    For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page.


After attending this event, attendees will select the correct answer on 80% of the questions within 3 attempts of the post-test that assesses the 4 learning objectives for this 2 hour event.


12:00 pm: Introduction
12:05 pm: Webinar begins
1:45 pm: Q&A opportunity
2:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms