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J Neural Transm. 2000;107(6):715-20.

Standardized stimuli to assess drug craving and drug memory in addicts.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany.


Due to conditioning processes, originally neutral stimuli become drug-associated cues and can initiate drug craving. Standardized stimuli are required to assess stimulus-induced activation of drug memory and craving in brain imaging and neurophysiology studies. We developed substance-specific visual and olfactory stimuli for alcohol, tobacco, opiate and cannabis abuse and tested them in subjects with the respective addiction and in healthy volunteers. Stimulus-related drug craving differed significantly between the diagnostic groups and indicated that the stimuli are suitable for craving studies.

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