Characteristics of Stimulant Drug Reinforcement

  • Roy Pickens
  • Travis Thompson


A number of stimuli serve as reinforcers for operant behavior. These stimuli unify the many and varied responses leading to their presentation, and make the behavioral unit formed more likely to recur. Apart from these effects, however, reinforcers seemingly have little else in common. They differ physically over a wide range, including such dissimilar events as food, light and novel stimulus presentation, electric shock termination, and electrical stimulation of the brain. It is not surprising therefore that the functional properties of reinforcers also differ. In fact, each reinforcer appears to have a set of unique characteristics. In the present chapter, some of the characteristics of stimulant drugs as reinforcers are examined, with special consideration given to the behavior of the organism under such conditions and to factors influencing this behavior.


Drug Injection Drug Dependence Cocaine Dose Intake Period Abstinence Period 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy Pickens
    • 1
  • Travis Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and PharmacologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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