Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2007 Oct;33(4):484-96.

The role of drug expectancy in the control of human drug seeking.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, England.


Human drug seeking may be goal directed in the sense that it is mediated by a mental representation of the drug or habitual in the sense that it is elicited by drug-paired cues directly. To test these 2 accounts, the authors assessed whether a drug-paired stimulus (S+) would transfer control to an independently trained drug-seeking response. Smokers were trained on an instrumental discrimination that established a tobacco S+ in Experiment 1 and a tobacco and a money S+ in Experiment 2 that elicited an expectancy of their respective outcomes. Participants then learned 2 new instrumental responses, 1 for each outcome, in the absence of these stimuli. Finally, in the transfer test, each S+ was found to augment performance of the new instrumental response that was trained with the same outcome. This outcome-specific transfer effect indicates that drug-paired stimuli controlled human drug seeking via a representation or expectation of the drug rather than through a direct stimulus-response association.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk