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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Paper Session #34
Understanding and Treating Drug Consumption
Thursday, November 29, 2001
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
Hall of the Ceiling
Area: BPH
Chair: Steven I. Dworkin (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Behavioral Mechanisms of Drug Tolerance
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MARC N. BRANCH (University of Florida)
Abstract: The concept of behavioral mechanisms of drug action has had limited success. One domain, however, in which it has been very successful is in the study of drug tolerance. There is overwhelming evidence that Pavlovian processes can contribute to the development of drug tolerance, and there is considerable indirect evidence that operant processes can contribute, as well. This presentation reviews the concept of behavioral mechanisms of action, the contribution of Pavlovian processes to drug tolerance, and how operant processes appear to be involved. Future research directions, especially in characterizing how operant processes are involved, are suggested.
Nicotine Self-Administration: Potential Treatment Compounds
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
STEVEN I. DWORKIN (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Dustin Stairs (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Abstract: Rodent and non-human primate models have been developed to evaluate the potential abuse liability of psychoactive substances. These animal models consist of evaluating the effects of a compound using several different behavioral procedures. The most direct assessment of the reinforcing effects of a psychoactive compound is the operant self-administration paradigm. In this test subjects are given the opportunity to respond on a lever that results in the administration of a compound. Several investigators have demonstrated that the reinforcing effects of nicotine using the self-administration procedure. In this study we discuss some of the behavioral conditions that can be used to optimize nicotine self-administration and the effects of potential treatment compounds on the reinforcing effects of nicotine. Male Fisher rats were trained to self-administer either nicotine or food under a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. The dose-effect curves for nicotine showed a relative shallow inverted "U" shaped function. Several different compounds with dopaminergic activity were evaluated for their selective effects on nicotine self- administration by comparing their effects on food and nicotine self-administration.



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