An Analysis of the Function of Drugs in the Stimulus Control of Operant Behavior

  • Robert T. Harris
  • Robert L. Balster


Only in recent years have CNS-active drugs been found to act effectively as discriminative stimuli in the control of learned behavior. A recent review (Overton, 1968) noted that many classes of drugs have been successfully employed to exert discriminative control over behavior, across a variety of tasks, e.g., T-mazes (Overton, 1964, 1966; Barry, Koepfer, and Lutch, 1965), shuttle boxes (Bindra, Nyman, and Wise, 1965), conditioned fear situations (Heistad and Torres, 1959), and operant techniques (Barry and Kubena, 1967; Harris and Balster, 1968), and for a variety of reinforcers, e.g., food (Barry et al., 1965), water (Korman, Knopf, and Leon, 1963), and shock (Overton, 1966). Thus, the generality of the discriminative stimulus function of drugs has been adequately established.


Stimulus Control Discriminative Stimulus Extinction Session Cumulative Record Discriminative Control 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert T. Harris
    • 1
  • Robert L. Balster
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Pharmacology SectionTexas Research InstituteHoustonUSA

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