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Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology - Vol 22, Iss 6

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Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology seeks to promote the discipline of psychopharmacology in its fullest diversity. Psychopharmacology necessarily involves behavioral change, psychological processes, or their physiological substrates as one central variable and psychopharmacological agents as a second central variable. Such agents will include drugs, medications, and chemicals encountered in the workplace or environment.
Copyright 2015 American Psychological Association
  • A critical review of the literature on attentional bias in cocaine use disorder and suggestions for future research.
    Cocaine use disorder (CUD) continues to be an important public health problem, and novel approaches are needed to improve the effectiveness of treatments for CUD. Recently, there has been increased interest in the role of automatic cognition such as attentional bias (AB) in addictive behaviors, and AB has been proposed to be a cognitive marker for addictions. Automatic cognition may be particularly relevant to CUD, as there is evidence for particularly robust AB to cocaine cues and strong relationships to craving for cocaine and other illicit drugs. Further, the wide-ranging cognitive deficits (e.g., in response inhibition and working memory) evinced by many cocaine users enhance the potential importance of interventions targeting automatic cognition in this population. In the current article, we discuss relevant addiction theories, followed by a review of studies that examined AB in CUD. We then consider the neural substrates of AB, including human neuroimaging, neurobiological, and pharmacological studies. We conclude with a discussion of research gaps and future directions for AB in CUD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Alcohol effects on simulated driving performance and self-perceptions of impairment in DUI offenders.
    Drivers with a history of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol self-report heightened impulsivity and display reckless driving behaviors as indicated by increased rates of vehicle crashes, moving violations, and traffic tickets. Such poor behavioral self-regulation could also increase sensitivity to the disruptive effects of alcohol on driving performance. The present study examined the degree to which DUI drivers display an increased sensitivity to the acute impairing effects of alcohol on simulated driving performance and overestimate their driving fitness following alcohol consumption. Adult drivers with a history of DUI and a demographically matched group of drivers with no history of DUI (controls) were tested following a 0.65 g/kg alcohol and a placebo. Results indicated that alcohol impaired several measures of driving performance, and there was no difference between DUI offenders and controls in these impairments. However, following alcohol, DUI drivers self-reported a greater ability and willingness to drive compared with controls. These findings indicate that drivers with a history of DUI might perceive themselves as more fit to drive after drinking, which could play an important role in their decisions to drink and drive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • GRIK1 genotype and daily expectations of alcohol’s positive effects moderate the reduction of heavy drinking by topiramate.
    Using retrospective reports obtained during treatment visits in 138 heavy drinkers, we found that topiramate’s reduction of heavy drinking was moderated by a polymorphism (rs2832407) in GRIK1, which encodes the GluK1 kainate subunit (Kranzler et al., 2014a). A subsequent analysis of that 12-week topiramate treatment trial showed similar effects of medication and genotype on daily drinking reports obtained via interactive voice response technology (IVR; Kranzler et al., 2014b). Specifically, rs2832407*C-allele homozygotes treated with topiramate reported lower levels of drinking than those receiving placebo. This group also had the largest decreases in the expected positive effects of drinking (i.e., expectancies) and desire to drink. To extend that analysis, which focused on how mean levels of desire and expectancies changed over time with treatment, we used a within-person approach to examine whether daily variation in expectancies and desire to drink interact with topiramate treatment and genotype to predict nighttime drinking levels. In contrast to the previous analysis (Kranzler et al., 2014b), here we focus on whether alcohol expectancies and desire to drink moderate the effects of topiramate on drinking. Results showed a 3-way interaction of daily expectancies with genotype and medication, such that the protective effect of topiramate on nighttime drinking among rs2832407*C-allele homozygotes was decreased on days characterized by relatively high levels of anticipated positive effects of alcohol. There was no moderating effect of desire to drink or negative alcohol expectancies. Thus, there is specific moderation of the effects of topiramate by both genotype and cognitive process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Alcohol and tobacco cue effects on craving in non-daily smokers.
    Non-daily smokers commonly smoke cigarettes following the consumption of alcohol, yet the reason(s) for this remains poorly understood. The present study examined the impact of alcohol consumption on responses in tobacco salient cues 49 male and 50 female non-daily smokers. After the administration of an alcohol, placebo, or control beverage, participants were exposed to series neutral video clips and tobacco smoking salient video clips, and their subjective states and heart rates were monitored. The timing of the exposure to the tobacco smoking clips was randomly determined to coincide with the timing of either the ascending limb or the descending limb of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) curve of the alcohol beverage condition. The tobacco smoking clips were found to increase cigarette craving regardless of beverage condition or timing of exposure (p = .002). Alcohol consumption was associated with increased ratings of intoxication (p <.001), increased heart rate across participants (p <.001), and increased cigarette craving in female participants specifically (p = .017). Alcohol did not influence responses to the smoking videos. These results suggest that smoking salient cues and alcohol may impact cigarette craving in non-daily smokers through independent processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Sensory reinforcement-enhancing effects of nicotine via smoking.
    As has been found in nicotine research on animals, research on humans has shown that acute nicotine enhances reinforcement from rewards unrelated to nicotine intake, but this effect may be specific to rewards from stimuli that are “sensory” in nature. We assessed acute effects of nicotine via smoking on responding for music or video rewards (sensory), for monetary reward (nonsensory), or for no reward (control), to gauge the generalizability of nicotine’s reinforcement-enhancing effects. Using a fully within-subjects design, dependent smokers (N = 20) participated in 3 similar experimental sessions, each following overnight abstinence (verified by carbon monoxide
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  • Cannabis use history and characteristics of quit attempts: A comparison study of treatment-seeking and non-treatment-seeking cannabis users.
    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance worldwide, and cannabis use disorders (CUDs) are correspondingly high. Increased demand for treatment and relatively low rates of positive clinical outcomes has led to a large scientific investment in the development of interventions for the treatment of CUD. Much of this research is conducted with cannabis users who are not seeking treatment at the time of study participation, and it is unknown whether these individuals are representative of those who seek treatment. This study contrasted samples of cannabis users participating in screening interviews for treatment and nontreatment research studies. Several differences between groups emerged: Treatment-seekers were more likely to be female (43% vs. 29%), older (33.4 vs. 29.7 years), and have longer cannabis use histories compared with non-treatment-seekers (p = .007). Treatment-seekers were more likely to report experiencing guilt after using cannabis and to feel that cannabis use has been a problem for them. Additionally, treatment-seekers reported a greater mean number of reasons for making a quit attempt, experiencing a greater number of withdrawal symptoms, and employing more coping strategies during prior quit attempts. Despite the aforementioned differences, the 2 groups were similar on several key characteristics, particularly with regards to current levels of cannabis use and related problems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Investigating correlates of synthetic marijuana and Salvia use in light and intermittent smokers and college students in a predominantly Hispanic sample.
    Few studies have examined correlates related to the use of synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., Spice, K2) and Salvia divinorum. Two studies were conducted to investigate whether demographic, smoking-related, and substance-related variables were associated with the use of synthetic cannabinoids and Salvia. In Study 1, 185 participants (50% female; 83% Hispanic; Mage = 32 years; SD = 13.68) were recruited from a local health clinic and a university on the U.S./Mexico border for a smoking-cessation study targeting light and intermittent smokers. In Study 2, 675 participants (62.4% female; 89.1% Hispanic; Mage = 21.0, SD = 8.56) were recruited from a university on the U.S./Mexico border for an online study. In Study 1, 10% of the sample indicated they had ever used either synthetic cannabinoids or Salvia in their lifetime. Being male and dual/multiple use of tobacco products were significantly associated with having ever used synthetic cannabinoids or Salvia. In Study 2, 9%, 5%, and 3% of the sample indicated lifetime, past-year, and past 30-day use of synthetic cannabinoids, respectively. Five percent, 2%, and 1% of the sample indicated lifetime, past-year, and past 30-day use of Salvia, respectively. Logistic regression analyses revealed that past 30-day marijuana use and past 30-day ecstasy use were significantly associated with use of synthetic cannabinoids and Salvia in one’s lifetime. These findings suggest that the assessment of synthetic marijuana and Salvia use is warranted in studies of other addictive behaviors, particularly among current marijuana and ecstasy users. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The role of first use of inhalants within sequencing pattern of first use of drugs among Brazilian university students.
    The present study investigated the role of first use of inhalants within a first drug sequencing pattern. In a representative sample of university students from 27 Brazilian capitals (n = 12,711), we analyzed the patterns of transition from/to first use of inhalants to/from the first use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, ecstasy, amphetamines, prescription opioids, and tranquilizers. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyze data. Drugs that were not specified as the pair of drugs tested in each model were included as time-varying covariates in all models. In this sample, first use of inhalants was preceded only by the first use of alcohol and tobacco. However, first use of inhalants preceded first use of cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, and tranquilizers. First use of inhalants preceded the first use of prescription opioids, and vice versa. This study highlights the need to intervene early with youths who are at risk of or just beginning to use inhalants, because this class of drugs seems to be the first illegal drug in Brazil to be experimented by respondents in our sample. There is also a call for attention to individuals who have already first used inhalants because of their higher chance to experiment with other drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and prescription drugs. All these findings show an in-transition culture of drug use, which should be tracked through time, because some classical models (i.e., gateway model) might be outdated and might also not fit within different settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Systemic administration of the neurotensin NTS₁-receptor agonist PD149163 improves performance on a memory task in naturally deficient male Brown Norway rats.
    Agonists for the neurotensin NTS₁ receptor consistently exhibit antipsychotic effects in animal models without producing catalepsy, suggesting that NTS₁-receptor agonists may be a novel class of drugs to treat schizophrenia. Moreover, studies utilizing NTS₁ agonists have reported improvements in some aspects of cognitive functioning, including prepulse inhibition and learning procedures, which suggest an ability of NTS₁-receptor agonists to diminish neurocognitive deficits. The present study sought to assess both baseline delay-induced memory performance and the effects of NTS₁-receptor activation on learning and memory consolidation in male Long–Evans and Brown Norway rats using a delayed nonmatch-to-position task radial arm-maze task. In the absence of drugs, Brown Norway rats displayed a significant increase in spatial memory errors following 3-, 7-, and 24-hr delay, whereas Long–Evans rats exhibited an increase in spatial memory errors following only a 7-, and 24-hr delay. With Brown Norway rats, administration of PD149163 before or after an information trial significantly reduced errors during a retention trial after a 24 hr delay. Administration of the NTS1/2-receptor antagonist SR142948 prior to the information trial did not affect retention-trial errors. These data are consistent with previous findings that Brown Norway rats have natural cognitive deficits and that they may be useful for assessing putative antipsychotic drugs for cognitive efficacy. Moreover, the results of this study support previous findings suggesting that NTS₁-receptor agonists may improve some aspects of cognitive functioning. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The quetiapine active metabolite N-desalkylquetiapine and the neurotensin NTS₁ receptor agonist PD149163 exhibit antidepressant-like effects on operant responding in male rats.
    Major depressive disorder is the most common mood disorder in the United States and European Union; however, the limitations of clinically available antidepressant drugs have led researchers to pursue novel pharmacological treatments. Clinical studies have reported that monotherapy with the atypical antipsychotic drug quetiapine produces a rapid reduction in depressive symptoms that is apparent after 1 week of treatment, and it is possible that the active metabolite N-desalkylquetiapine, which structurally resembles an antidepressant drug, produces antidepressant effects. Neuropharmacological evaluations of the neurotensin NTS1 receptor agonist PD149163 suggest antidepressant efficacy, but the effects of a NTS₁ receptor agonist in an antidepressant animal model have yet to be reported. The present study examined the antidepressant-like effects of N-desalkylquetiapine, PD14916, quetiapine, the tricyclic antidepressant drug imipramine, the atypical antipsychotic drug risperidone, and the typical antipsychotic drug raclopride on responding in male Sprague–Dawley rats trained on a differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate 72-s operant schedule, a procedure used for screening antidepressant drugs. Quetiapine, PD149163, risperidone, and imipramine exhibited antidepressant-like effects by increasing the number of reinforcers earned, decreasing the number of responses emitted, and shifting the interresponse time (IRT) distributions to the right. N-Desalkylquetiapine produced a partial antidepressant-like effect by decreasing the number of responses emitted and producing a rightward shift in the IRT distributions, but it did not significantly alter the number of reinforcers earned. Raclopride decreased reinforcers and responses. These data suggest that N-desalkylquetiapine likely contributes to quetiapine’s antidepressant efficacy and identify NTS₁ receptor activation as a potential novel pharmacologic strategy for antidepressant drugs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • D4 dopamine receptor-specific antagonist improves reversal learning impairment in amphetamine-treated male rats.
    The Attentional Set-Shifting Task (ASST) is a rodent analog of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, which measures executive functioning. The ASST tests for reversal of stimulus–response learning and the formation and maintenance of attentional sets. Depletion of dopamine has been shown to improve performance on attentional shifts. The study presented here questioned whether a D4-specific antagonist, L-745,870, could have a similar effect on animals, even after being treated with repeated doses of amphetamine. Three groups of male rats were given either 10 saline injections (n = 12), 10 amphetamine injections (2 mg/kg; n = 8), or 10 amphetamine injections plus 1 pretreatment injection of L-745,870 (0.1 mg/kg; n = 8) 20 min prior to testing. One-way ANOVA results showed that amphetamine-only rats were impaired on all 3 reversals (Ms = 19, 16.4, and 17.1) compared with L-745,870-treated rats (Ms = 9.8, 10.9, and 9.6) and controls (Ms = 8.6, 9.6, 9.3; all ps <.01). L-745,870-treated rats also displayed reduced latencies to respond compared with both saline controls and amphetamine rats. It is thought that D4 receptors play a role in cue salience, and that by blocking these receptors, animals display less attachment to previously rewarded cues. The results presented support this idea and imply that blocking of D4 receptors can reverse the impairment in reversals caused by amphetamine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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