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Hogarth L.,University of Exeter | Hogarth L.,University of New South Wales | Retzler C.,University of Huddersfield | Munafo M.R.,University of Bristol | And 7 more authors.
Behaviour Research and Therapy | Year: 2014

There has long been need for a behavioural intervention that attenuates cue-evoked drug-seeking, but the optimal method remains obscure. To address this, we report three approaches to extinguish cue-evoked drug-seeking measured in a Pavlovian to instrumental transfer design, in non-treatment seeking adult smokers and alcohol drinkers. The results showed that the ability of a drug stimulus to transfer control over a separately trained drug-seeking response was not affected by the stimulus undergoing Pavlovian extinction training in experiment 1, but was abolished by the stimulus undergoing discriminative extinction training in experiment 2, and was abolished by explicit verbal instructions stating that the stimulus did not signal a more effective response-drug contingency in experiment 3. These data suggest that cue-evoked drug-seeking is mediated by a propositional hierarchical instrumental expectancy that the drug-seeking response is more likely to be rewarded in that stimulus. Methods which degraded this hierarchical expectancy were effective in the laboratory, and so may have therapeutic potential. © 2014 The Authors.


Hitchman S.C.,Kings College London | Hitchman S.C.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Brose L.S.,Kings College London | Brose L.S.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | And 5 more authors.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2015

Introduction: E-cigarettes can be categorized into two basic types, (1) cigalikes, that are disposable or use pre-filled cartridges and (2) tanks, that can be refilled with liquids. The aims of this study were to examine: (1) predictors of using the two e-cigarette types, and (2) the association between type used, frequency of use (daily vs. non-daily vs. no use), and quitting. Methods: Online longitudinal survey of smokers in Great Britain was first conducted in November 2012. Of 4064 respondents meeting inclusion criteria at baseline, this study included (N = 1643) current smokers followed-up 1 year later. Type and frequency of e-cigarette use were measured at follow-up. Results: At follow-up, 64% reported no e-cigarette use, 27% used cigalikes, and 9% used tanks. Among e-cigarette users at follow-up, respondents most likely to use tanks versus cigalikes included: 40-54 versus 18-24 year olds and those with low versus moderate/high education. Compared to no e-cigarette use at follow-up, non-daily cigalike users were less likely to have quit smoking since baseline (P = .0002), daily cigalike or non-daily tank users were no more or less likely to have quit (P = .3644 and P = .4216, respectively), and daily tank users were more likely to have quit (P = .0012). Conclusions: Whether e-cigarette use is associated with quitting depends on type and frequency of use. Compared with respondents not using e-cigarettes, daily tank users were more likely, and non-daily cigalike users were less likely, to have quit. Tanks were more likely to be used by older respondents and respondents with lower education. © The Author 2015.


Christiansen P.,University of Liverpool | Christiansen P.,IVO Addiction Research Institute | Schoenmakers T.M.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Schoenmakers T.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 2 more authors.
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2015

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in attentional bias in addiction, particularly its clinical relevance. Specifically, numerous articles claimed to demonstrate either that (1) attentional bias measured in treatment settings could predict subsequent relapse to substance use, or (2) direct modification of attentional bias reduced substance use and improved treatment outcomes. In this paper, we critically evaluate empirical studies that investigated these issues. We show that the evidence regarding both of these claims is decidedly mixed, and that many of the studies that appear to yield positive findings have serious methodological and statistical limitations. We contend that the available literature suggests that attentional bias for drug cues fluctuates within individuals because it is an output of the underlying motivational state at that moment in time, but there is no convincing evidence that it exerts a causal influence on substance use. Future research should make use of experience sampling methodology to characterise the clinical significance of fluctuations in attentional bias over time. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Christiansen P.,University of Liverpool | Christiansen P.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Schoenmakers T.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | Field M.,University of Liverpool | Field M.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2014

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in attentional bias in addiction, particularly its clinical relevance. Specifically, numerous articles claimed to demonstrate either that (1) attentional bias measured in treatment settings could predict subsequent relapse to substance use, or (2) direct modification of attentional bias reduced substance use and improved treatment outcomes. In this paper, we critically evaluate empirical studies that investigated these issues. We show that the evidence regarding both of these claims is decidedly mixed, and that many of the studies that appear to yield positive findings have serious methodological and statistical limitations. We contend that the available literature suggests that attentional bias for drug cues fluctuates within individuals because it is an output of the underlying motivational state at that moment in time, but there is no convincing evidence that it exerts a causal influence on substance use. Future research should make use of experience sampling methodology to characterise the clinical significance of fluctuations in attentional bias over time. © 2014.


Attwood A.S.,University of Bristol | Attwood A.S.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies | Munafo M.R.,University of Bristol | Munafo M.R.,Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
Journal of Psychopharmacology | Year: 2014

The negative consequences of chronic alcohol abuse are well known, but heavy episodic consumption ("binge drinking") is also associated with significant personal and societal harms. Aggressive tendencies are increased after alcohol but the mechanisms underlying these changes are not fully understood. While effects on behavioural control are likely to be important, other effects may be involved given the widespread action of alcohol. Altered processing of social signals is associated with changes in social behaviours, including aggression, but until recently there has been little research investigating the effects of acute alcohol consumption on these outcomes. Recent work investigating the effects of acute alcohol on emotional face processing has suggested reduced sensitivity to submissive signals (sad faces) and increased perceptual bias towards provocative signals (angry faces) after alcohol consumption, which may play a role in alcohol-related aggression.Here we discuss a putative mechanism that may explain how alcohol consumption influences emotional processing and subsequent aggressive responding, via disruption of orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)-amygdala connectivity. While the importance of emotional processing on social behaviours is well established, research into acute alcohol consumption and emotional processing is still in its infancy. Further research is needed and we outline a research agenda to address gaps in the literature. © The Author(s) 2014.

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