Goal-directed and transfer-cue-elicited drug-seeking are dissociated by pharmacotherapy: evidence for independent additive controllers.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
American Psychological Association
According to contemporary learning theory, drug-seeking behavior reflects the summation of 2 dissociable controllers. Whereas goal-directed drug-seeking is determined by the expected current incentive value of the drug, stimulus-elicited drug-seeking is determined by the expected probability of the drug independently of its current incentive value, and these 2 controllers contribute additively to observed drug-seeking. One applied prediction of this model is that smoking cessation pharmacotherapies selectively attenuate tonic but not cue-elicited craving because they downgrade the expected incentive value of the drug but leave expected probability intact. To test this, the current study examined whether nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) nasal spray would modify goal-directed tobacco choice in a human outcome devaluation procedure, but leave cue-elicited tobacco choice in a Pavlovian to instrumental transfer (PIT) procedure intact. Smokers (N= 96) first underwent concurrent choice training in which 2 responses earned tobacco or chocolate points, respectively. Participants then ingested either NRT nasal spray (1 mg) or chocolate (147 g) to devalue 1 outcome. Concurrent choice was then tested again in extinction to measure goal-directed control of choice, and in a PIT test to measure the extent to which tobacco and chocolate stimuli enhanced choice of the same outcome. It was found that NRT modified tobacco choice in the extinction test but not the extent to which the tobacco stimulus enhanced choice of the tobacco outcome in the PIT test. This dissociation suggests that the propensity to engage in drug-seeking is determined independently by the expected value and probability of the drug, and that pharmacotherapy has partial efficacy because it selectively effects expected drug value.
UK MRC Grant
types: Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
©2012 American Psychological Association
'This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.' http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/xan/index.aspx
Vol. 38, Issue 3, pp. 266 - 278
Place of publication