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Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology - Vol 24, Iss 2

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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 2016 American Psychological Association
  • Derived relations moderate the association between changes in the strength of commitment language and cocaine treatment response.
    The psycholinguistic analysis of client–counselor interactions indicates that how individuals talk about their substance use is associated with treatment outcome. However, the processes by which client speech influences out-of-session behaviors have not been clearly delineated. This study investigated the relationships between deriving relations–a key behavioral process by which language and cognition may come to influence behavior, shifts in the strength of client talk in favor of change, and treatment outcome among 75 cocaine-dependent participants (23% Female). Participants were trained to relate cocaine words, nonsense syllables, and negative-consequence words and were then assessed for a derived relation of equivalence before starting treatment. The DARN-C coding system was used to quantify the strength of participant speech during an early cognitive behavior therapy counseling session. Cocaine use during treatment was the outcome of interest. The analyses (a) characterized the process of deriving relations among individuals seeking help for their misuse of cocaine, (b) tested the relationships between shifts in the strength of participants’ speech in favor of change and treatment outcome, and (c) tested if deriving equivalence relations moderated the relationship between shifts in the strength of in-session speech and treatment response. Results indicated that a minority of participants derived equivalence relations, however increases in the strength of commitment language predicted less cocaine use during treatment only among those who did. The findings suggest deriving relations may be an important process by which changes in the strength of commitment language comes to influence substance use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Individual differences in subjective alcohol responses and alcohol-related disinhibition.
    There are important individual differences in acute subjective responses to alcohol, which have often been assessed using self-report measures. There is also evidence of meaningful between-persons variation in alcohol’s disinhibiting effects on behavior, such that some individuals become more impaired on tasks of inhibition than do others after an intoxicating dose. The degree to which subjective alcohol responses correspond with these disinhibition effects is not yet clear. In this study, we tested associations among indices of subjective alcohol responses and their correspondence with sensitivity to alcohol-related disinhibition. We recruited recent-binge-drinking emerging adults (N = 82) for a group-administered, placebo-controlled, within-subject, counterbalanced alcohol challenge in a simulated bar laboratory. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a 2-factor model with several cross-loadings explained associations among the subjective measures well, replicating a differentiation between stimulant-like and sedative-like subjective responses. Controlling sex and placebo performance, participants who reported greater subjective stimulant-like effects—but not sedative-like effects—experienced more alcohol-related disinhibition, as measured by cued go/no-go task inhibitory failures. This association was small-to-moderate in magnitude. The results of this study highlight the distinction between stimulant-like and sedative-like subjective alcohol effects. They suggest, additionally, that there may be modest commonalities between alcohol’s acute impacts on subjective stimulation and objective disinhibition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Differences in weekday versus weekend drinking among nonstudent emerging adults.
    In the current investigation, we sought to examine “day-of-the-week” drinking of an at-risk sample of nonstudent emerging adults and whether specific factors are associated with differential drinking patterns. Our study aims were to (a) identify differences in weekday versus weekend drinking, and (b) examine specific expectancies (i.e., sociability, tension reduction) and demographic factors (e.g., age, sex) relating to weekend versus weekday drinking after controlling for harmful drinking and holiday drinking. Participants were heavy-drinking noncollege attenders recruited from the community (N = 238; 63.4% men, 35.7% women; M age = 21.92 years). They reported daily drinking for the previous 30 days and completed measures of harmful drinking, alcohol expectancies, and demographic information. Results showed that more drinks were consumed on the weekends (i.e., Thursday to Saturday) than weekdays, with 63% of drinks consumed on weekends. Multilevel modeling analyses indicated that weekday drinking was associated with tension-reduction expectancies, social expectancies, sex, and age. Weekend-drinking increases were related to social expectancies, but not tension-reduction expectancies. Our final model indicated that, after controlling for the effect of holiday drinking, the within-person weekday–weekend distinction explained 18% of the total variance. In general, our findings highlight the importance of alcohol expectancies and drinking contexts in understanding the drinking behaviors of nonstudents. The differential role of tension-reduction and social-facilitation expectancies on drinking throughout the week imply that different cognitive pathways are involved in weekday versus weekend drinking, and both types of expected alcohol effects should be targets of risk-reduction efforts with nonstudent drinkers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Stress-related increases in risk taking and attentional failures predict earlier relapse to smoking in young adults: A pilot investigation.
    Substantial evidence links greater impulsivity and stress exposure to poorer smoking cessation outcomes. Results from adolescents also indicate that stress-related change in risk taking can impede cessation attempts. We investigated the effects of stress-related change in impulsivity, risk taking, attention and nicotine withdrawal, and craving in young adult smokers on time to smoking relapse in a relapse analogue paradigm. Twenty-six young adult smokers (50% women; mean age: 20.9 ± 1.8) were exposed to a stress imagery session followed by a contingency management-based relapse analogue paradigm. Participants smoked at least 5 cigarettes daily, with a mean baseline carbon monoxide (CO) level of 13.7 (±5.1) ppm. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and paired t tests examined stress induction validity and Cox regressions of proportional hazards examined the effects of stress-related changes in nicotine withdrawal, nicotine craving, attention, impulsivity, and risk taking on time to relapse. While stress-related change in impulsivity, nicotine craving and withdrawal did not predict time to relapse (all ps > .10), greater stress-related increases in reaction time (RT) variability (p = .02) were predictive of shorter time to relapse, with trend-level findings for inattention and risk taking. Furthermore, changes in stress-related risk taking affected outcome in women more than in men, with a significant relationship between stress-related change in risk taking only in women (p = .026). Smoking cessation attempts in young adults may be adversely impacted by stress-related increases in risk taking and attentional disruption. Clinicians working with young adults attempting cessation may need to target these stress-related impairments by fostering more adaptive coping and resilience. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Reliability and validity of measures of impulsive choice and impulsive action in smokers trying to quit.
    Cross-sectional research suggests that smokers are more impulsive than are nonsmokers, but few studies have examined relations between impulsiveness and later success in quitting smoking. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability and predictive validity of facets of impulsiveness in adult smokers trying to quit. Baseline behavioral measures of impulsive choice (assessed with a delay discounting task) and impulsive action (assessed with a measure of behavioral disinhibition) were used as predictors of smoking cessation success over 12 weeks. The sample included 116 adult (18 years old or older) daily smokers from central New Jersey. Impulsive choice, impulsive action, and self-reported impulsiveness were not significantly related to one another at baseline. Impulsive choice had high test–retest reliability from pre- to postquit, whereas impulsive action was less stable. Test–retest reliability from prequit to 3 weeks’ postquit was moderated by achievement of 7-day abstinence. Baseline impulsive action was significantly negatively related to quitting for at least 1 day in the first 2 weeks of a quit attempt and of prolonged abstinence (no relapse over the next 10 weeks). Baseline impulsive choice was robustly associated with biochemically verified 7-day point-prevalence abstinence 12 weeks’ postquit, such that those with lower delay discounting were more likely to achieve abstinence. Facets of impulsiveness appear to function largely independently in adult smokers, as indicated by their lack of intercorrelation, differential stability, and differential relations with abstinence. Impulsive action may impede initial quitting, whereas impulsive choice may be an obstacle to maintaining lasting abstinence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Effects of gaboxadol on the expression of cocaine sensitization in rats.
    Behavioral sensitization to psychostimulants is associated with changes in dopamine (DA), glutamate, and GABA within the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal DA systems. Because GABAA receptors are highly expressed within these systems, we examined the role of these receptors containing a δ subunit in cocaine behavioral sensitization. Experiment 1 examined the effects of Gaboxadol (GBX, also known as THIP [4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-isoxazolo[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol]), a selective δ-GABAA receptor agonist, on the locomotor responses to acute cocaine. GBX at 1.25 mg/kg produced locomotor depression in female rats alone. We then examined the effects of GBX on the expression of cocaine-induced locomotion and stereotypy in female and male rats treated with 5 days of cocaine (15 mg/kg) followed by cocaine challenge 7 days later. We administered systemic (Experiment 2) or intranucleus accumbens (intra-NAC; Experiment 3) injections of GBX (0, 1.25, 2.5, 5, or 10 mg/kg subcutaneously, or 1 μmol/L or 1 mM intra-NAC, respectively) prior to cocaine challenge (10 mg/kg). In our experiments females were robustly sensitized to cocaine at low dose whereas males did not show such sensitization-limiting comparisons between the 2 sexes. Sensitized females showed a biphasic response to low (1.25 mg/kg and 1 μmol/L) and high (10 mg/kg and 1 mM) dose GBX whereas nonsensitized males showed this pattern only following intra-NAC injection. Immunohistochemical analysis of the NAC revealed that females have more δ-containing GABAA receptors than do males and that following chronic cocaine injections this difference persisted (Experiment 4). Together, our results support the notion of the key role of extrasynaptic GABAA δ-subunit containing receptors in cocaine sensitization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Actigraphy-based sleep parameters during the reinstatement of methamphetamine self-administration in rhesus monkeys.
    The objective of this study was to investigate nighttime activity of nonhuman primates during extinction and cue- and drug-primed reinstatement of methamphetamine self-administration. Adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta; n = 5) self-administered methamphetamine (0.01 mg/kg/injection, i.v.) under a fixed-ratio 20 schedule of reinforcement. Saline infusions were then substituted for methamphetamine and stimulus light (drug-conditioned stimulus presented during drug self-administration) withheld until subjects reached extinction criteria. Drug- and cue-induced reinstatement effects were evaluated after i.v. noncontingent priming injections of methamphetamine (0.03, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg). Activity-based sleep measures were evaluated with Actiwatch monitors a week before (baseline nighttime activity parameters) and throughout the protocol. Although methamphetamine self-administration did not significantly affect nighttime activity compared to baseline, sleeplike parameters were improved during extinction compared to self-administration maintenance. Priming injection of 0.1 mg/kg methamphetamine, but not 0.03 or 0.3 mg/kg, induced significant reinstatement effects. These behavioral responses were accompanied by nighttime outcomes, with increased sleep fragmentation and decreased sleep efficiency in the night following 0.1 mg/kg methamphetamine-induced reinstatement. In the absence of both drug and drug-paired cues (extinction conditions), nighttime activity decreased compared to self-administration maintenance. Additionally, effective reinstatement conditions impaired sleeplike measures. Our data indicate that the reintroduction of the stimulus light as a drug-paired cue increased nighttime activity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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