Society for the Stimulus Properties of Drugs Satellite


Principal Investigator: ELLEN ANN WALKER
Abstract: Psychoactive drugs can influence behavior by acting as rewarding and cuing stimuli in drug dependence. When drugs serve as rewards and motivate new behavior, drug-taking behavior develops. When drugs serve as cues (called discriminative stimuli), people learn to identify their characteristic effects in the body, such as changes in mood and emotion. These cues may reinstate drug-taking behavior and certainly play a role in the relapse of drug addiction. Using the drug discrimination method in the laboratory, subjects are specifically trained to recognize these drug effects. Investigators can then measure drug effects in a precise, quantitative, and reliable manner using drug discrimination methods and related approaches. One of the main goals of SSPD is the acquisition, exchange and distribution of information concerning recent research in the field of stimulus properties of drugs. In this application, the SSPD is requesting support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support our satellite symposium to the European Behavioral Pharmacology Society Conference in Barcelona, Spain on September 9, 2005. Our organization is uniquely qualified to address three important issues in drug abuse and addiction in our satellite symposium: 1) the role of discriminative stimulus and conditioned drug effects in the reinstatement and relapse of drug abuse; 2) the training and development of graduate students and junior colleagues interested in the advancement of drug abuse research, especially in regards to stimulus effects and drug cues; and finally 3) the open dialogue and exchange between senior NIDA-funded researchers and our European colleagues on the contribution of various drug cues to the acquisition, maintenance and treatment of drug addiction. For this day-long satellite session, papers will be solicited from all members and interested scientists from SSPD, EBPS, or the scientific community at large by announcing the meeting and presentations on our website, the EBPS website, our own electronic newsletter (February 2005), as well as a series of relevant listserves. Finally, as in previous years (1978-1998), the proceeding of our international satellite will be submitted for review for publication. The SSPD Satellite to the EBPS 2005 Conference promises to coordinate, exchange, and disseminate information to further our understanding of drug abuse.
Funding Period: 2005-09-01 - 2006-03-31
more information: NIH RePORT