The Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies

Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies

Liverpool, United Kingdom
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Di Lemma L.C.G.,University of Liverpool | Di Lemma L.C.G.,The Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Field M.,University of Liverpool | Field M.,The Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
Psychopharmacology | Year: 2017

Rationale: Both cue avoidance training (CAT) and inhibitory control training (ICT) reduce alcohol consumption in the laboratory. However, these interventions have never been directly compared and their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. Objectives: We compared the effects of both types of training on alcohol consumption and investigated if they led to theoretically predicted changes in alcohol avoidance (CAT) or alcohol inhibition (ICT) associations and changes in evaluation of alcohol cues. Methods: Heavy drinking young adults (N = 120) were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) CAT (repeatedly pushing alcohol cues away with a joystick), (2) sham (control) CAT; (3) ICT (repeatedly inhibiting behaviour in response to alcohol cues); or (4) sham (control) ICT. Changes in reaction times and automatic evaluations of alcohol cues were assessed before and after training using assessment versions of tasks used in training and the implicit association test (IAT), respectively. Finally, participants completed a bogus taste test as a measure of ad libitum alcohol consumption. Results: Compared to sham conditions, CAT and ICT both led to reduced alcohol consumption although there was no difference between the two. Neither intervention affected performance on the IAT, and changes in reaction time did not suggest the formation of robust alcohol avoidance (CAT) or alcohol inhibition (ICT) associations after training. Conclusions: CAT and ICT yielded equivalent reductions in alcohol consumption in the laboratory. However, these behavioural effects were not accompanied by devaluation of stimuli or the formation of alcohol avoidance or alcohol inhibition associations. © 2017 The Author(s)

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