Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ian P. Stolerman, Lawrence H. Price

Behavioral Tolerance

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27772-6_58-2


Conditioned tolerance; Contingent tolerance


Behavioral tolerance describes the diminution of a drug-induced disruption of a goal-oriented behavior that is dependent upon learning processes, i.e., performance of the behavior while intoxicated.

Impact of Psychoactive Drugs

Behavioral Tolerance

Tolerance refers to the diminution of a drug’s effect with repeated dosing. In controlled laboratory settings, tolerance is measured by giving a drug repeatedly and assessing a dependent measure as a function of drug history. In clinical settings, tolerance is inferred when a person reports that she/he thinks it currently takes a greater amount of drug to achieve an effect than it did when the use of the drug first started. A modifier is often used to indicate a type of tolerance or a mechanism responsible for tolerance. Some modifiers are used to further describe the conditions under which tolerance is observed. For example, acute tolerance refers to a diminution of effect...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New York State Psychiatric InstituteCollege of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA