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Slow associative learning in alcohol dependence and the Alcohol Cue Exposure Treatment Paradox

Slow associative learning in alcohol dependence and the Alcohol Cue Exposure Treatment Paradox
Slow associative learning in alcohol dependence and the Alcohol Cue Exposure Treatment Paradox

Aims: To examine two explanations for the observation that cue–exposure treatment has not been clearly effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence: do alcohol-dependent individuals have either (1) slower extinction and/or (2) greater contextual specificity of extinction than non-dependent individuals?. Design: In two exploratory laboratory experiments we used mixed factorial designs with two-group between-subjects factors and within-subjects factors corresponding to performance in different parts of a computer-based learning task. Setting: University of Southampton psychology research laboratories and two addiction treatment services in the city of Southampton, UK. Participants: Experiment 1: 74 (54 female) undergraduates from the University of Southampton (age mean = 20.4 years). Experiment 2: 102 (40 female) participants from the University of Southampton, the local community, and from two Southampton alcohol treatment services (age mean = 41.3 years). Measurements: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a 1-week time-line follow-back alcohol consumption questionnaire, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (11th edn), and a computerized learning task. Experiment 2 additionally used the 44-item Big Five Inventory, a drug use history checklist, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Findings: Experiment 1: light and heavy drinkers did not differ significantly in extinction [extinction block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.761, (Formula presented.), 95% confidence interval (CI) = (0,0.028)] or on contextual control of extinction [recovery block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.514, (Formula presented.), 95% CI =(0, 0.084)]. Experiment 2: slower extinction in abstinent alcohol-dependent participants compared with light drinkers [extinction block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.023, (Formula presented.), 95% CI = 0, 0.069)] but no significant difference on contextual control of extinction [recovery block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.069, (Formula presented.), 95% CI = (0, 0.125)]. Conclusion: Abstinent alcohol-dependent people may have slower extinction learning for alcohol-related cues than non-dependent light drinkers.

ABC recovery, alcohol dependence, associative learning, cue exposure, extinction
0965-2140
1-10
Buckfield, Carl
a8eb8ffe-7c02-43c5-a0f1-a737954ea778
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c
Glautier, Steven
964468b2-3ad7-40cc-b4be-e35c7dee518f
Buckfield, Carl
a8eb8ffe-7c02-43c5-a0f1-a737954ea778
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c
Glautier, Steven
964468b2-3ad7-40cc-b4be-e35c7dee518f

Buckfield, Carl, Sinclair, Julia and Glautier, Steven (2020) Slow associative learning in alcohol dependence and the Alcohol Cue Exposure Treatment Paradox. Addiction, 0, 1-10. (doi:10.1111/add.15210).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: To examine two explanations for the observation that cue–exposure treatment has not been clearly effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence: do alcohol-dependent individuals have either (1) slower extinction and/or (2) greater contextual specificity of extinction than non-dependent individuals?. Design: In two exploratory laboratory experiments we used mixed factorial designs with two-group between-subjects factors and within-subjects factors corresponding to performance in different parts of a computer-based learning task. Setting: University of Southampton psychology research laboratories and two addiction treatment services in the city of Southampton, UK. Participants: Experiment 1: 74 (54 female) undergraduates from the University of Southampton (age mean = 20.4 years). Experiment 2: 102 (40 female) participants from the University of Southampton, the local community, and from two Southampton alcohol treatment services (age mean = 41.3 years). Measurements: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a 1-week time-line follow-back alcohol consumption questionnaire, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (11th edn), and a computerized learning task. Experiment 2 additionally used the 44-item Big Five Inventory, a drug use history checklist, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Findings: Experiment 1: light and heavy drinkers did not differ significantly in extinction [extinction block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.761, (Formula presented.), 95% confidence interval (CI) = (0,0.028)] or on contextual control of extinction [recovery block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.514, (Formula presented.), 95% CI =(0, 0.084)]. Experiment 2: slower extinction in abstinent alcohol-dependent participants compared with light drinkers [extinction block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.023, (Formula presented.), 95% CI = 0, 0.069)] but no significant difference on contextual control of extinction [recovery block × drinking status interaction, P = 0.069, (Formula presented.), 95% CI = (0, 0.125)]. Conclusion: Abstinent alcohol-dependent people may have slower extinction learning for alcohol-related cues than non-dependent light drinkers.

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Accepted/In Press date: 22 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 July 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: C.B. was supported by a Society for the Study of Addiction PhD studentship for this work. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction
Keywords: ABC recovery, alcohol dependence, associative learning, cue exposure, extinction

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442758
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442758
ISSN: 0965-2140
PURE UUID: c0fbdbbb-aab5-4777-97d0-84ece67af55c
ORCID for Julia Sinclair: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1905-2025
ORCID for Steven Glautier: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8852-3268

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Date deposited: 24 Jul 2020 16:46
Last modified: 12 Oct 2022 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Carl Buckfield
Author: Julia Sinclair ORCID iD
Author: Steven Glautier ORCID iD

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