Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #401
CE Offered: BACB
Drug Reinforcing Effects: Establishment and Measurement
Monday, May 31, 2010
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: BPH; Domain: Experimental Analysis
CE Instructor: Linda LeBlanc, Ph.D.
Chair: Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University)
RICHARD A. MEISCH (University Of Texas HSC-H)
Richard A. Meisch published his first drug self-administration paper in 1967, and has continued to conduct drug self-administration studies to the present. In 1970 he completed an M.D.-Ph.D. program (Ph.D. in Pharmacology and M.D.) at the University of Minnesota, and subsequently a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology and a residency in Psychiatry at the same institution. Since 1988 he has been a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. His research has remained focused on drug self-administration studies in humans, rhesus monkeys, rats, and mice. A number of routes of administration have been explored. In addition to the IV route he has used the oral, subcutaneous, and intraperitoneal routes. Research interests include procedures to establish drug reinforcing effects and to measure the magnitude of the effects. Methodological interests include the interpretation of drug self-administration data and development of novel experimental designs and procedures. In studying these topics his research has crossed into areas such as polydrug abuse, behavioral economics, food restriction, behavioral genetics, and the generality of findings across humans, monkeys, and rodents.
Abstract: Orally delivered drugs are more difficult to establish as reinforcers than intravenously delivered drugs for at least three reasons: (1) aversive taste, (2) low volume consumed including low drug intake (mg of drug/kg of body weight), and (3) long delay between drinking and onset of central nervous system effects. Nevertheless , a broad range of orally delivered drugs can be established as effective reinforcers for rhesus monkeys. Moreover, some of these drugs will also serve as reinforcers for rats and mice. Strategies for establishing drugs as reinforcer via the oral route will be discussed as well as an explanation for the marked effectiveness of these drugs when taken by mouth. New methods have been developed for measuring the magnitude of reinforcing effects will be described. The findings with these new methods are consistent with findings from choice studies. Although choice procedures are the “gold standard” for evaluating relative reinforcing effects, counter-intuitive findings emerge under some choice parameters. These findings will be shown to be instances of a larger analytic perspective.



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