Changing drug choice through conditioned reinforcement: Comment on Alessi, Roll, Reilly, and Johanson (2002)

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

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The study by S. M. Alessi, J. M. Roll, M. P. Reilly, and C.-E. Johanson (2002) showed that in human volunteers a choice of placebo over diazepam could be reversed by pairing the drug with a higher monetary reward and the placebo with a lower monetary reward for performance on a computer-based task. The results provide a clear laboratory model of how initially neutral or aversive effects of a drug can be altered by association with positive reinforcement to establish the drug as a conditioned reinforcer and to generate drug-seeking behavior. Parallels from the animal and human literatures are discussed, as are potential future studies and applications of this approach for preventing and reducing drug abuse in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-89
Number of pages3
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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