Opiates as Reinforcing Stimuli

  • James H. Woods
  • Charles R. Schuster


Morphine is the principle derivative of opium and the prototypic opiate for a great deal of pharmacologic investigation. One way to examine the significance of the behavioral properties of morphine and other opiates is to investigate the manner in which they modify and strengthen behavior. If intravenous morphine or other opiates are presented immediately following a response and the response frequency increases, then opiates can be said to serve as reinforcers. This proposition supposes that morphine and morphinelike drugs might act as reinforcers in the absence of setting conditions (e.g., drug deprivation and conditioning history). Other reinforcers (e.g., intracranial stimulation and changes in illumination) appear to have such properties.


Rhesus Monkey Withdrawal Syndrome Drug Infusion Physical Dependence Food Presentation 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • James H. Woods
    • 1
  • Charles R. Schuster
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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