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  The role of habits and motivation in human drug addiction: A reflection

Sjoerds, Z., Luigjes, J., Van den Brink, W., Denys, D., & Yücel, M. (2014). The role of habits and motivation in human drug addiction: A reflection. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 5: 8. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00008.

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Sjoerds, Zsuzsika1, 2, Author              
Luigjes, Judy 2, Author
Van den Brink, Wim 2, Author
Denys, Damiaan 2, Author
Yücel, Murat 2, Author
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1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: habits; habit formation; motivation; addiction; goal-directed behavior
 Abstract: This Research Topic in Addictive Disorders and Behavioral Dyscontrol, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, focuses on motivational mechanisms underlying substance use, abuse, and dependence. This is an important topic in addiction research, since most psychobiological models of drug addiction consider the motivational or reinforcing aspects of drugs to be the central drive for drug use [for an extensive overview of craving and motivation-based addiction models, see a review by Skinner and Aubin (1)]. However, motivational models alone do not seem to fully cover the complexity of addictive behaviors observed in humans, especially in relation to the more chronic, highly relapsing patterns of addiction. In recent years, habit formation theory has become more prominent for explaining the persistent pattern of addiction despite decreasing reinforcing properties of the drug and increasing negative consequences of continued drug use. According to this model, there is a shift from motivated goal-directed behavior toward more automatic and habitual behavior over the course of long-term drug abuse, which is extensively described by Everitt and Robbins (2–4). Within this framework, which is derived primarily from animal studies, habits and goal-directed behaviors (the latter being behavior motivated by the desirability of the goal) are opposing ends of the spectrum. However, human behavior is more complex than observed in laboratory animal settings, as is confirmed by clinical observations, and translation from animal to human behavior remains a challenge. Moreover, motivations and habits could be more intertwined than previously assumed. Therefore, some questions rise considering the construct of habits: is habitual behavior completely devoid of motivational underpinnings (i.e., goal-directedness) or is it possible that motivation still plays a role in habitual behavior? Moreover, is habit a unitary construct or are there different types of habituation? In this article, we present considerations in the context of human addiction and motivation in order to open the discussion toward a more careful consideration of the concept of habit and its role in drug addiction.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-11-142014-01-142014-01-29
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2014.00008
PMC: PMC3905212
PMID: 24523702
Other: eCollection 2014
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Title: Frontiers in Psychiatry
  Abbreviation : Front Psychiatry
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 5 Sequence Number: 8 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-0640
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/16640640