Historical Origins of Behavioral Pharmacology

  • Alan Poling
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series


“A drug is broadly defined as any chemical agent that affects living processes” (Mayer, Melmon, & Gilman, 1980, p. 1). Although the fossil record fails to reveal whether homo erectus used drugs, the writings of nearer ancestors reveal that homo sapiens has self-administered drugs throughout recorded history. No less authoritative sources than the Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud affirm that humans have long recognized drugs’ ability to alter subjective internal states as well as overt behavior. In fact, our ancestors appear to have used drugs and to have speculated on their effects millennia before Christ and Mohammed trod the earth.


Overt Behavior Historical Origin MagneSium Pemoline Behavioral Pharmacology Behavioral Psychology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Poling
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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