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Conditioned Tolerance to the Tachycardia Effect of Ethanol in Humans

Conditioned Tolerance to the Tachycardia Effect of Ethanol in Humans

  1. YIPMAN
    Psychopharmacology (1982) 78: 365- 367 | Springer-Verlag 1982

    Conditioned Tolerance to the Tachycardia Effect of Ethanol in Humans

    Richard Dafters and George Anderson
    Department of Psychology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland


    Abstract. Human subjects were given a series of oral ethanol
    administrations in one environment and an equal number of
    placebo administrations in another distinct environment.
    Tolerance (a decreasing response with repeated administrations)
    to the tachycardia effect of ethanol was observed; no
    consistent changes in heart rate followed placebo administrations.
    Subsequently, tolerance to a test dose of ethanol
    administered in the environment normally associated with
    placebo was reduced relative to that in response to a dose
    administered in the usual ethanol environment. This demonstration
    of environment-specificity in a human drug tolerance
    experiment replicates previous reports from animal
    studies, and is interpreted according to a Pavlovian conditioning
    model of drug tolerance.

    Key words: Tolerance - Pavlovian conditioning - Ethanol tachycardia - Environment-specificity