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.


39th Annual Convention; Minneapolis, MN; 2013

Event Details

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Invited Tutorial #141
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Individual Differences in Sweet Preference and Impulsivity Predict Vulnerability to Drug Abuse and Treatment Outcome
Sunday, May 26, 2013
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Auditorium Room 1 (Convention Center)
Area: BPH/EAB; Domain: Basic Research
PSY/BACB CE Offered. CE Instructor: Jonathan W. Pinkston, Ph.D.
Chair: Jonathan W. Pinkston (University of North Texas)
Presenting Authors: : MARILYN CARROLL (University of Minnesota), Nathan A. Holtz (University of Minnesota), Natalie E. Zlebnik (University of Minnesota), Anna K. Radke (University of Minnesota), Paul S. Regier (University of Minnesota)

Rats selectively bred for high (HiS) vs. low (LoS) saccharin preference exhibit high and low vulnerability, respectively, for cocaine-seeking behavior. Also, rats selected for high (HiI) vs. low (LoI) impulsivity, based on a delay-discounting task for food, show similar high vs. low vulnerability, respectively, vulnerability for drug seeking. These findings agree with those of other laboratories that have selected or selectively bred rats for high or low reactivity to novelty or sign-tracking vs. goal tracking. These phenotypic markers for drug addiction also are related to age and sex differences in which adolescents and females are more avid drug-seekers than adults and males, and the vulnerability markers appear to be additive. This presentation will discuss how HiS vs. LoS and HiI vs. LoI rats differentially respond to behavioral (exercise), and pharmacological treatments, and their combinations, to reduce drug seeking. It also will discuss how high and low drug seekers respond to aversive drug effects of drugs such as withdrawal and punishment. Overall, the results suggest commonalities among the drug-seeking phenotypes, and that drug-addiction-prone rats are more sensitive to reward and less sensitive to aversive effects, while drug-resistant phenotypes are more responsive to aversive effects of drugs and less motivated by reward. This information is valuable for developing strategies for prevention and designing treatments for drug abuse. Supported by NIDA grants: R01 DA003240, R01 DA019942, P20 DA024196.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

The target audience are researchers and practitioners that deal with populations at risk for developing substance abuse and dependence problems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the event, participants will be able to: 1. Understand methods and procedures used to measure impulsivity. 2. Understand how individual sensitivities contribute to risk of drug abuse. 3. Become familiar with modern approaches to understanding how genes and environment jointly determine risk for substance abuse.
MARILYN CARROLL (University of Minnesota), Nathan A. Holtz (University of Minnesota), Natalie E. Zlebnik (University of Minnesota), Anna K. Radke (University of Minnesota), Paul S. Regier (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Marilyn Carroll is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience, and adjunct in psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her work focuses on addictive behavior, mainly drug addiction, but also overindulgence in food, and the similarities and interchangeability of drug and food addiction. She has studied biological determinants of drug abuse such as sex, hormonal conditions, age, impulsivity, genetic propensity for sweet intake, and environmental determinants such as avidity for exercise, food access, and social factors. Her work has been funded by a National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse Method to Extend Research in Time award, a K05 award, several R01s, and recently a P50 SCOR grant. Her current work involves treatment for cocaine and other forms of stimulant addiction using highly novel methods. As a subcontractor on an Avant-Garde Award from NIDA (Stephen Brimijoin, principal investigator, Mayo Clinic), Dr. Carroll's lab has found that a viral vector-delivered cocaine hydrolase (CocH) blocks cocaine relapse for at least 6 months. Cocaine's stimulant effects also are reduced by CocH and further reduced by adding the cocaine vaccine. With Dr. Kenneth Baker (University of Minnesota), Dr. Carroll studies effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on alcohol and cocaine-rewarded behavior in monkeys and rats. She also studies exercise as a means to interfere with cocaine-seeking in rats and found dramatic reductions that were enhanced by a medication treatment.
Keyword(s): Drug Abuse, Impulsivity, Individual Differences, Preference



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