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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: Seventy-four (54 female) undergraduates from the University of Southampton (age M=20.4 years). Experiment 2: One-hundred and two (40 female) participants from the University of Southampton, the local community, and from two Southampton alcohol treatment services (age M=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 Ed), and a computerised 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 x drinking status interaction, p=.761, η_p^2=.005, 95% confidence interval (0,.028)) or on contextual control of extinction (recovery block x drinking status interaction, p=.514, η_p^2=.009, 95% confidence interval (0,.084)). Experiment 2: slower extinction in abstinent alcohol dependent participants compared with light drinkers (extinction block x drinking status interaction, p=.023, η_p^2=.031, 95% confidence interval (0,.069)) but no significant difference on contextual control of extinction (recovery block x drinking status interaction, p=.069, η_p^2=.033, 95% confidence interval (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: Seventy-four (54 female) undergraduates from the University of Southampton (age M=20.4 years). Experiment 2: One-hundred and two (40 female) participants from the University of Southampton, the local community, and from two Southampton alcohol treatment services (age M=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 Ed), and a computerised 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 x drinking status interaction, p=.761, η_p^2=.005, 95% confidence interval (0,.028)) or on contextual control of extinction (recovery block x drinking status interaction, p=.514, η_p^2=.009, 95% confidence interval (0,.084)). Experiment 2: slower extinction in abstinent alcohol dependent participants compared with light drinkers (extinction block x drinking status interaction, p=.023, η_p^2=.031, 95% confidence interval (0,.069)) but no significant difference on contextual control of extinction (recovery block x drinking status interaction, p=.069, η_p^2=.033, 95% confidence interval (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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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 28 July 2020
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

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Jul 2020 16:46
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 06:35

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Contributors

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

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