Introduction to the Papers on Operant Conditioning and Alcohol Intake

  • James H. Woods
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 85B)


All alcoholics drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Surely, those interested in the many aspects of alcoholism, regardless of viewpoint, would agree on this simple but general proposition. Researchers who wish to understand the conditions which lead to excessive alcohol intake are often interested in producing such intake in animals so that hypotheses of alcohol abuse can be evaluated with greater freedom than they can be in humans. Efforts taken over the last decade and a half have shown greater promise in producing excessive alcohol Intake in animals than did the early pioneering efforts. Until recently, for example, it was difficult to arrange conditions so that animals would voluntarily consume enough alcohol to produce intoxication as defined behaviorally or biochemically (e.g., Lester, 1966). It is now possible, however, to induce sustained intoxication in animals using a variety of techniques, and to examine analytically the conditions that induce the effects and the sequalae of this sustained intoxication, such as alcohol tolerance and dependence.


Alcohol Abuse Operant Conditioning Alcohol Intoxication Nonhuman Animal Great Freedom 
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  2. Dews, P.B. The behavioral context of addiction. In Goldberg, L. and Hoffmeister, F. (Ed.), Psychic Dependence. Bayer Symposium IV, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 36–4–6 (1973).Google Scholar
  3. Cotten, M. de V. (Ed.) Symposium on Control of Drug-Taking Behavior by Schedules of Reinforcement. Pharmacol. Rev. 27: 291–535 (1975).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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