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Environ Health Perspect. 1978 Oct;26:69-76.

Stimulus properties of inhaled substances.


Inhaled substances can modify behavior by their toxic action, or because they are discriminable events, or because they can support or suppress behavior. They can be used as discriminative stimuli at concentrations above the olfactory threshold. Inhalants can elicit unconditioned reflexes. As aversive stimuli, they can be studied in respondent conditioning experiments (e.g. conditioned suppression), in punishment paradigms, or as negative reinforcers in escape paradigms. Inhalants can also be positive reinforcers; their intoxicating properties have engendered patterns of chronic self-administration (solvent abuse). Such stimulus properties should be considered in industrial hygiene and environmental quality decisions. Laboratory techniques to study such properties abound.

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