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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #127
Translational Research in Human Behavioral Pharmacology
Sunday, May 28, 2006
9:30 AM–10:50 AM
Area: BPH; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Diana J. Walker (University of Chicago)
Discussant: Kenneth Silverman (Johns Hopkins University)
Abstract: Translational research involves studying socially significant problems in a rigorous laboratory environment with the eventual goal of improving clinical treatments. Human behavioral pharmacology is particularly amenable to such a laboratory investigation, and conducting such research can result in valuable information about the conditions affecting drug use, treatment efficacy, and relapse. The following symposium is intended to highlight methodological and conceptual approaches in translational behavioral pharmacology, ranging from self-administration to treatment. The first presentation (Kangas & Walker) will introduce a titration procedure for determining the optimal dose in human drug self-administration. The second presentation (Kelly et al.) will discuss how breakpoint on a progressive-ratio schedule of drug self-administration relates to high- and low-impulsive sensation seekers. Finally, the third presentation (Raiff & Dallery) will introduce a novel method for studying voucher-based reinforcement in a laboratory setting. Kenneth Silverman will conclude the symposium with a discussion.
A Titrating Dose Procedure to Identify the Optimal Reinforcing Dose of Nitrous Oxide with Humans.
BRIAN D. KANGAS (University of Florida), Diana J. Walker (University of Chicago)
Abstract: Despite a rise in the self-administration of nitrous oxide (N2O) for nonmedical purposes, its abuse has received much less attention from the scientific community relative to other abused drugs. The present study assessed the reinforcing effects of N2O under a choice procedure of adjusting doses. Human participants chose between an adjusting dose of N2O (started at 30% N2O in Condition 1, and 0% in Condition 2) and a fixed dose of 0% N2O. The adjusting dose titrated as a function of the participant’s choices. Sessions were divided into 4-trial blocks. During the 2 forced-choice trials, the participant sampled the adjusting and fixed dose of N2O. The participant then had two free-choice trials. If the adjusting dose was chosen on both free-choice trials, it was increased on the subsequent trial block. If the fixed dose was chosen on both free-choice trials, then the adjusting dose was decreased on the subsequent trial block. If the adjusting dose was chosen on one free-choice trial and the fixed on the other, the adjusting dose remained the same. Preliminary results suggest that N2O served as a reinforcer for some participants (observed titrated doses of 30 – 50% N2O), but not for others (preference for 0% N2O).
d-Amphetamine Self-Administration in High- and Low-Impulsive Sensation Seekers Using a Progressive-Ratio Procedure.
THOMAS KELLY (University of Kentucky), W. W. Stoops (University of Kentucky), G. Robbins (University of Kentucky), Carol A. Martin (University of Kentucky), Joshua Anthony Lile (University of Kentucky), Michael T. Bardo (University of Kentucky), Craig Roy Rush (University of Kentucky)
Abstract: Novelty- and sensation-seeking behavior is associated with individual differences in drug abuse vulnerability. This study examined d-amphetamine self-administration among high and low impulsive sensation seekers using a modified progressive-ratio procedure. It was hypothesized that break points on the progressive ratio task would be greater among high impulsive sensation seekers. Healthy volunteers scoring in the top and bottom quartiles of gender-adjusted population norms on the impulsive-sensation seeking scale of the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (N=10/group) completed an 8-session study consisting of four 2-session test blocks. During the first session of each test block, subjects received 8 capsules, each containing 1/8th of a test dose. During the second session, subjects earned up to 8 test capsules by completing progressively increasing response requirements, such that 6,375 responses were required to earn all 8 capsules. Test doses (0, 8, 16 mg) were presented under randomized, double-blind conditions during the test blocks. Break points on the progressive ratio task increased as a function of dose and were greater among high sensation seekers at the 8 mg dose. This study was supported by DA-05312 and RR-15592.
Abstinence Reinforcement Therapy with and without a Nicotine Patch: A Laboratory Model.
BETHANY R. RAIFF (University of Florida), Jesse Dallery (University of Florida)
Abstract: We have developed a laboratory model to study key variables involved in contingency management, in the form of voucher reinforcement, with smokers. Heavy smokers attended three, 3 hr sessions in random order: 1) low voucher magnitude, 2) high voucher magnitude and 3) control, and were randomly assigned to an active patch (n = 15) or placebo patch (n = 15) group. Subjects were exposed to 4, 10-minute blocks, each separated by a 20-min cigarette free period. During the 10-min block, participants could earn money for each 30-second period that they did not take a puff from a cigarette. A standard ascending schedule of reinforcement, including a reset contingency, was used, with the value of the high magnitude condition 4 times the value of the low magnitude condition. During the control session, participants earned money regardless of whether they took a puff or not. Participants in both groups showed large reductions in the number of puffs taken when vouchers were introduced (62-89%). Active patch participants showed greater reductions in number of puffs taken than placebo patch participants across all three conditions, suggesting that combining the vouchers with a pharmacological agent may enhance smoking abstinence with the contingency management procedure.



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