Individual decision-making in the causal pathway to addiction: contributions and limitations of rodent models.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 2018-01-01; 164: 22-31
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1. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2018 Jan;164:22-31. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2017.07.005. Epub
2017 Jul 12.
Individual decision-making in the causal pathway to addiction: contributions and
limitations of rodent models.
(1)Université de Bordeaux, Institut des Maladies Neurodégénératives, UMR 5293,
146 rue Léo-Saignat, F-33000 Bordeaux, France; CNRS, Institut des Maladies
Neurodégénératives, UMR 5293, 146 rue Léo-Saignat, F-33000 Bordeaux, France.
Electronic address: .
The causal pathway from vulnerability to drug use and addiction involves a
complex interaction between genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. An
individual can intervene on this causal pathway by two major types of individual
decision. There is the inaugural, momentous decision to use a drug for the first
time. This decision is influenced by both prior knowledge on the drug and its
expected effects, and also by prior self-knowledge on one’s own vulnerability.
After an individual has used a drug for the first time, there is the decision to
repeat drug use. This decision is influenced by the same factors that were
involved in the inaugural decision to initiate drug use, except for one crucial
difference. The first drug use has now acted on the individual, changing its
brain acutely and also potentially persistently in a way that could bias
subsequent decision-making in favor of repeated drug use. The goal of this review
article is to assess the contributions and limitations of rodent models (i.e.,
rats, mice) to understand how prior drug use can influence decision-making in a
way that favors future drug use. Overall, research on rodents shows that prior
drug use can increase impulsive, risky and/or potentially harmful
decision-making. However, this does not apparently translate into more drug use
when rodents have the choice between a drug and a competing, nondrug option,
except when the expected value of the latter is considerably decreased. The
delayed drug reward hypothesis is developed to resolve and explain this apparent
discrepancy. This novel hypothesis makes several unique predictions, some of them
counterintuitive, and suggests that extrapolation of rodent research to humans
should not only take into account differences in drug choice situations but also
inherent species-specific differences in individual decision-making.
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