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Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology - Vol 24, Iss 1

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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
  • Determining menstrual phase in human biobehavioral research: A review with recommendations.
    Given the volume and importance of research focusing on menstrual phase, a review of the strategies being used to identify menstrual phase and recommendations that will promote methodological uniformity in the field is needed. We conducted a literature review via Ovid Medline and PsycINFO. Our goal was to review methods used to identify menstrual phase and subphases in biobehavioral research studies with women who had physiologically natural menstrual cycles. Therefore, we excluded articles that focused on any of the following: use of exogenous hormones, the postpartum period, menstrual-related problems (e.g., polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis), and infertility/anovulation. We also excluded articles on either younger (45 years old) study samples. We initially identified a total of 1,809 articles. After our exclusionary criteria were applied, 146 articles remained, within which our review identified 6 different methods used to identify menstrual phase and subphases. The most common method used was self-report of onset of menses (145/146 articles) followed by urine luteinizing hormone testing (50/146 articles) and measurement of hormones (estradiol and/or progesterone) in blood samples (49/146 articles). Overall, we found a lack of consistency in the methodology used to determine menstrual phase and subphases. We provide several options to improve accuracy of phase identification, as well as to minimize costs and burden. Adoption of these recommendations will decrease misclassification within individual studies, facilitate cross-study comparisons, and enhance the reproducibility of results. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Comparison of nicotine dependence indicators in predicting quitting among pregnant smokers.
    Research in the general population of smokers indicates that across various measures of nicotine dependence, time to first cigarette (TTFC) is the strongest single-item predictor of quitting success. Whether those findings generalize to pregnant smokers is unclear. To investigate this matter, we compared TTFC with cigarettes per day (CPD) and the Heaviness of Smoking Index (HSI; Kozlowski, Porter, Orleans, Pope, & Heatherton, 1994) in predicting late-pregnancy abstinence among 289 pregnant women enrolled in 4 smoking-cessation trials assessing the efficacy of financial incentives. Logistic regression was used to compare predictors, with model fit measured using the c statistic (range = 0.5, poor prediction to 1.0, perfect prediction). In simple regressions, model fit was comparable across the 3 measures although strongest for CPD alone (c = 0.70, 0.68, 0.66 for CPD, HSI, and TTFC, respectively). In a stepwise multiple regression, treatment was entered first (c = 0.67), then CPD (c = 0.77), quit attempts prepregnancy (c = .81), TTFC (c = .82), and quit attempts during pregnancy (c = .83). We saw no evidence supporting TTFC as the optimal predictor of quitting among pregnant smokers. Instead, the evidence supported using CPD and TTFC together or CPD alone if using only a single predictor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Discounting of qualitatively different delayed health outcomes in current and never smokers.
    In delay discounting, temporally remote outcomes have less value. Cigarette smoking is associated with steeper discounting of money and consumable outcomes. It is presently unclear whether smokers discount health outcomes more than nonsmokers. We sought to establish the generality of steep discounting for different types of health outcomes in cigarette smokers. Seventy participants (38 smokers and 32 nonsmokers) completed 4 hypothetical outcome delay-discounting tasks: a gain of $500, a loss of $500, a temporary boost in health, and temporary cure from a debilitating disease. Participants reported the duration of each health outcome that would be equivalent to $500; these durations were then used in the respective discounting tasks. Delays ranged from 1 week to 25 years. Smokers’ indifference points for monetary gains, boosts in health, and temporary cures were lower than indifference points from nonsmokers. Indifference points of 1 outcome were correlated with indifference points of other outcomes. Smokers demonstrate steeper discounting across a range of delayed outcomes. How a person discounts 1 outcome predicts how they will discount other outcomes. These 2 findings support our assertion that delay discounting is in part a trait. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Impulsivity and polysubstance use: A systematic comparison of delay discounting in mono-, dual-, and trisubstance use.
    Understanding the association between polysubstance use and impulsivity is pertinent to treatment planning and efficacy. Delay discounting, a measure of impulsivity, supplies the rate at which a reinforcer loses value as the temporal delay to its receipt increases. Excessive delay discounting has been widely observed among drug-using individuals, though the impact of using more than 1 substance has been only minimally studied. Here, after controlling for demographic variables, we systematically compared delay discounting in community controls, heavy smokers, and alcohol- and cocaine-dependent individuals to assess the impact of non-, mono-, dual-, and trisubstance use. All substance-using groups discounted significantly more than did community controls (p <.05). Additionally, groups that smoked cigarettes in addition to another substance dependency discounted significantly more than did the group that smoked cigarettes only (p <.05). Last, trisubstance users who were alcohol-dependent, cocaine-dependent, and heavy cigarette smokers discounted significantly more than did heavy smokers (p <.01). However, trisubstance users did not discount significantly more than did any dual-substance group. Trisubstance use was associated with greater impulsivity than was monosubstance smoking but exhibited no greater impulsivity than did dual-substance use, suggesting a ceiling effect on discounting when more than 2 substances are in use. The present study suggests that smokers who engage in additional substance use may experience worse treatment outcomes, given that excessive discounting is predictive of poor therapeutic outcomes in several studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A behavioral economic analysis of the nonmedical use of prescription drugs among young adults.
    The nonmedical use of prescription drugs is a widely recognized public health issue, and young adults are particularly vulnerable to their use. Behavioral economic drug purchase tasks capture an individual’s strength of desire and motivation for a particular drug. We examined young adult prescription drug purchase and consumption patterns using hypothetical behavioral economic purchase tasks for prescription sedatives/tranquilizers, stimulants, and opiate pain relievers. We also examined relations between demand, use frequency, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5) substance use disorder (SUD) symptoms, and sex differences in these relations. Undergraduate students who endorsed past-year prescription drug use (N = 393) completed an online questionnaire for course credit. Measures assessed substance use frequency and DSM–5 SUD symptoms. Hypothetical purchase tasks for sedatives, stimulants, and pain relievers assessed participants’ consumption and expenditure patterns for these substances across 25 prices. Past-year prescription sedative, stimulant, and pain reliever use was endorsed by 138, 258, and 189 participants, respectively. Among these users, consumption for their respective substance decreased as a function of ascending price, as expected. Demand indices for a prescription drug were associated with each other and with use frequency and SUD symptoms, with variability across substances but largely not by sex. In addition, demand for prescription pain relievers differentially predicted symptoms independent of use, with differences for females and males. In conclusion, hypothetical consumption and expenditure patterns for prescription drugs were generally well described by behavioral economic demand curves, and the observed associations with use and SUD symptoms provide support for the utility of prescription drug purchase tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Reporting of problematic drinkers and the harm they cause: Assessing the role of alcohol use, sex, and age of those affected by a problematic drinker.
    This study explores survey respondents’ reports of alcohol-related harm created by another person’s drinking and whether the experience of harm was influenced by the respondent’s own risky drinking behavior and other relevant personal demographics (age and sex). Drawing from a cross-sectional survey of Australian adults, the study analyzes the likelihood that frequent risky drinkers, infrequent risky drinkers, nonrisky drinkers, and nondrinkers would report a problematic drinker and the different harms experienced as a result of the problematic drinker. The study also examines the type of harms experienced and the number of different harms experienced. Both unadjusted and adjusted models (accounting for age and sex) are reported. Results showed that respondents’ own drinking behavior influenced their reporting of a problematic drinker and the breadth of harms reported. More frequent risky drinkers reported a problematic drinker than did nonrisky drinkers, but the difference in odds was not significant between nondrinkers and nonrisky drinkers, nor between infrequent risky drinkers and frequent risky drinkers. The reported average number of harms for infrequent and frequent risky drinking categories was less than that for nondrinkers but was not significant. There was a nonlinear negative relationship between the age of the respondent and the probability of reporting a problematic drinker, and, after accounting for age, compared to men, women were significantly more likely to report a problematic drinker. The study highlights some evidence for the effect that individuals who drink at riskier levels may experience more harms due to their heavier drinking social networks but downplay these experiences that others cause. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Oxytocin decreases cocaine taking, cocaine seeking, and locomotor activity in female rats.
    Oxytocin has been shown to decrease cocaine taking and seeking in male rats, suggesting potential treatment efficacy for drug addiction. In the present study, we extended these findings to the assessment of cocaine seeking and taking in female rats. Further, we made direct comparisons of oxytocin’s impact on cocaine induced locomotor activity in both males and females. In females, systemic oxytocin (0.3, 1.0, 3.0 mg/kg) attenuated lever pressing for cocaine during self-administration and oxytocin (1.0 mg/kg) attenuated cue-induced cocaine seeking following extinction. Cocaine increased baseline locomotor activity to a greater degree in females relative to males. Oxytocin (0.1, 0.3, 1.0, and 3.0 mg/kg) reduced cocaine-induced locomotor activity in females, but not significantly in males. These data illustrate sex similarities in oxytocin’s attenuation of cocaine seeking, but sex differences in cocaine-induced locomotor effects. While reductions in cocaine seeking cannot be attributed to a reduction in locomotor activity in males, attenuation of locomotor function cannot be entirely ruled out as an explanation for a decrease in cocaine seeking in females suggesting that oxytocin’s effect on cocaine seeking may be mediated by different mechanisms in male and females. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Comparison of effects produced by nicotine and the α4β2-selective agonist 5-I-A-85380 on intracranial self-stimulation in rats.
    Intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) is one type of preclinical procedure for research on pharmacological mechanisms that mediate abuse potential of drugs acting at various targets, including nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). This study compared effects of the nonselective nAChR agonist nicotine (0.032–1.0 mg/kg) and the α4β2-selective nAChR agonist 5-I-A-85380 (0.01–1.0 mg/kg) on ICSS in male Sprague–Dawley rats. Rats were implanted with electrodes targeting the medial forebrain bundle at the level of the lateral hypothalamus and trained to respond under a fixed-ratio 1 schedule for a range of brain stimulation frequencies (158–56 Hz). A broad range of 5-I-A-85380 doses produced an abuse-related increase (or “facilitation”) of low ICSS rates maintained by low brain-stimulation frequencies, and this effect was blocked by both the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine and the selective α4β2 antagonist dihyrdo-β-erythroidine (DHβE). Conversely, nicotine produced weaker ICSS facilitation across a narrower range of doses, and higher nicotine doses decreased high rates of ICSS maintained by high brain-stimulation frequencies. The rate-decreasing effects of a high nicotine dose were blocked by mecamylamine but not DHβE. Chronic nicotine treatment produced selective tolerance to rate-decreasing effects of nicotine but did not alter ICSS rate-increasing effects of nicotine. These results suggest that α4β2 receptors are sufficient to mediate abuse-related rate-increasing effects of nAChR agonists in this ICSS procedure. Conversely, nicotine effects at non-α4β2 nAChRs appear to oppose and limit abuse-related effects mediated by α4β2 receptors, although tolerance can develop to these non-α4β2 effects. Selective α4β2 agonists may have higher abuse potential than nicotine. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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