Erowid References Database
“Drug Effects and the Environmental Control of Behavior”.
Pharmacol. Rev.. 1975;27(3):429-36.
The experimental analysis of behavior controlled by drug administration and by environmental events is discussed in a review. The introduction records the traditional work on the effects of narcotic antagonists nalorphine and naloxone on lever pressing behaviour in morphine-dependent monkeys. The Author has shown that it is more difficult to engender characteristic fixed-interval performances under schedules of stimulus-shock termination than it is under comparable schedules of food presentation. Studies with LSD, nalorphine, chlorpromazine, 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine (STY), imipramine and pentobarbitone revealed no consistent relation between the functioning of a drug as a negative reinforcer and its tendency to affect responding under a similar schedule of stimulus-shock termination. Early experiments on behavior maintained by drug injection focused on identifying drugs that could act as reinforcers. The questions to be answered now is not so much which drugs will serve as reinforcers but rather what factors determine whether or not any drug will act as reinforcer. The questions asked about behavior are usually influenced by expectations of likely results. Experimental morphine addiction and avoidance of exposure to narcotic antagonists are expected. Morphine need not necessarily be a positive reinforcer and anlorphine need not be a negative reinforcer or punisher. Food presentation is usually a positive reinforcer. Presentation of electric shock is usually a punisher, but can act in a reinforcer. Other apparent contradictions in the known effects of drugs as consequences of behavior are given e.g. amphetamine.
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