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J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2008 Sep;39(3):209-18. Epub 2007 Jun 21.

Rapid approach responses to alcohol cues in heavy drinkers.

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School of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Eleanor Rathbone Building, Bedford Street South, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK. mfield@liverpool


Incentive-motivational models of addiction predict that alcohol cues should elicit approach behaviours in heavy drinkers. In this study we compared heavy and light social drinkers' response latencies when required to make approach or avoidance responses to alcohol pictures. Participants completed a stimulus-response compatibility (SRC) task, which requires participants to move a manikin towards or away from alcohol-related and matched control pictures, together with self-report measures of alcohol consumption and craving. Results demonstrated that heavy drinkers, but not light drinkers, were faster to approach than avoid alcohol pictures on the SRC task. The bias to approach alcohol pictures was also associated with alcohol craving.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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