Reactivity to alcohol stimuli in alcoholics: is there a role for temptation?

Eric Corty, Charles P. O'Brien, Stephan Mann

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11 Scopus citations


Two studies investigated conditioned reactions to alcohol in alcoholics. In the first, alcoholic and control subjects were exposed to alcoholic and non-alcoholic stimuli and physiological parameters were measured. No significant differences were found to indicate that alcoholics reacted differentially to alcoholic stimuli. As this was contrary to other findings, procedural differences were examined. In the second study, a series of case studies, subjects were selected for extreme alcohol dependence and the procedure was varied by persuading the subjects that they might consume the stimuli. Under conditions in which the alcoholic stimulus was available and the subjects were able to consume it, two of the three subjects exhibited responses consonant with conditioned reactions to alcohol stimuli. We conclude that such conditioned reactions do exist but that their prevalence and the conditions under which they can be elicited are unknown. From these studies it appears to us that one of the most important parameters may be that of temptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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