This volume is a special issue representing some of the best research presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior (SQAB), which took place in Chicago, IL, May 22–24 of 2008. The continuing growth in poster submissions encouraged us to add a new poster session that occurred during our opening reception and registration. The increase in number of posters probably reflects the enthusiastic discussions during the poster sessions and the opportunity to submit manuscripts for this SQAB special issue in a new category of short communications, which began with SQAB 2006 and published in 2007. These shorter articles undergo the same peer-review process as full-length papers and succinctly describe important and highly original research that may have considerable impact on our field.
This SQAB special issue contains 5 full-length articles from invited speakers and 24 short communications representing some of the most exciting and original research in our field from around the world. The ‘usual suspects’ are here: Many of the articles derive from core SQAB research areas such as choice, response strength, and timing; but there are some surprises too, including articles which demonstrate the applicability of quantitative analyses to diverse topics such as spatial navigation, state-dependent valuation, and wildlife conservation, to name a few. There are also several theoretical contributions, underscoring the continuing importance of conceptual analysis in our discipline. We have created brief summaries of each article and attempted to group them into the following categories.