Negative reinforcement learning is affected in substance dependence

Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 05/25/2012

The findings are consistent with a specific deficit in negative reinforcement learning in substance dependent individuals (SDI). SDI were relatively insensitive to the magnitude, not frequency, of loss. If this generalizes to drug–related stimuli, it suggests that repeated episodes of withdrawal may drive relapse more than the severity of a single episode.

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