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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2000 Sep;151(4):428-32.

Appetitve effects of drug cues modelled by pictures of the intake ritual: generality of cue-modulated startle examined with inpatient alcoholics.

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1
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology, University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

A cue-modulated startle test recently confirmed that smoking cues in smokers may not be withdrawal-like and aversive as traditionally believed.

OBJECTIVE:

Analogous tests were applied to alcohol cues in inpatient alcoholics.

METHODS:

Twenty-six withdrawn alcoholics (18 men) were examined. Alcohol-related pictures were compared to standardised pleasant, neutral or unpleasant control scenes using an acoustic startle test and measures of pleasure, arousal and desire for alcohol.

RESULTS:

Pictures depicting preparation for drinking (cues) were different from unpleasant control pictures and similar to pleasant pictures but only on the startle test; no differential effects were found for alcohol craving and mixed motivational effects were reported subjectively. The effects were not due to arousal and control pictures depicting post-drinking events showed less effect than the alcohol cues.

CONCLUSIONS:

New techniques of measuring drug cue motivation indicate that drug cues may have incentive properties in individuals in treatment for alcoholism.

PMID:
11026750
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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