REPEATED DIAZEPAM ADMINISTRATION: EFFECTS ON THE ACQUISITION AND PERFORMANCE OF RESPONSE CHAINS IN HUMANS

Warren K. Bickel, Stephen T. Higgins, Roland R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The effects of repeated diazepam administration (80 mg) were assessed across a 12‐hr time course with humans responding under a two‐component multiple schedule of repeated acquisition and performance of response sequences. Subjects resided in an inpatient clinical research ward for the duration of the study. In each component of the multiple schedule, subjects completed sequences of 10 responses in a predetermined order using three keys of a numeric keypad. In the acquisition component, a new response sequence was to be acquired each session. In the performance component, the response sequence always remained the same. After stable responding was obtained and the effects of the placebo assessed, diazepam was administered for 3 consecutive days. The effects of repeated diazepam administration on overall percentage of errors across the two components of the multiple schedule were selective. In the acquisition component, the first dose of diazepam increased percentage errors with the magnitude of effects decreasing across the second and third days of diazepam administration. In the performance component, the percentage of errors was either minimally affected across all 3 days of diazepam administration or substantively increased on Day 1 with subsequent diazepam administrations having minimal effects. Effects on response rate were not selective. Diazepam decreased rates of responding in both schedule components, with the magnitude of effects decreasing across successive administrations. These results replicate previous findings in humans and nonhumans on the selective effects of diazepam on acquisition versus performance baselines. Also, the results suggest that the selective effects do not result from differences in reinforcement rate. Finally, the present results demonstrate that the selective recovery from repeated drug administration previously demonstrated in nonhumans using a repeated acquisition arrangement has generality to human behavior. 1989 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the experimental analysis of behavior
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1989

Keywords

  • behavioral pharmacology
  • benzodiazepines
  • diazepam
  • humans
  • key press
  • multiple schedule
  • repeated acquisition
  • repeated administration
  • response sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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