Home > Goal-directed and habitual control in human substance use: state of the art and future directions.

Doñamayor, Nuria and Ebrahimi, Claudia and Arndt, Viktoria A and Weiss, Franziska and Schlagenhauf, Florian and Endrass, Tanja (2022) Goal-directed and habitual control in human substance use: state of the art and future directions. Neuropsychobiology, pp. 1-15. doi: 10.1159/000527663.

External website: https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/527663

Theories of addiction posit a deficit in goal-directed behavior and an increased propensity toward habitual actions in individuals with substance use disorders. Control over drug intake is assumed to shift from goal-directed to automatic or habitual motivation as the disorder progresses. Several diagnostic criteria reflect the inability to pursue goals regarding reducing or controlling drug use and performing social or occupational functions. The current review gives an overview of the mechanisms underlying the goal-directed and habitual systems in humans, and the existing paradigms that aim to evaluate them. We further summarize the current state of research on habitual and goal-directed functioning in individuals with substance use disorders. Current evidence of alterations in addiction and substance use are mixed and need further investigation. Increased habitual responding has been observed in more severely affected groups with contingency degradation and some outcome devaluation tasks. Reduced model-based behavior has been mainly observed in alcohol use disorder and related to treatment outcomes. Motor sequence learning tasks might provide a promising new approach to examine the development of habitual behavior. In the final part of the review, we discuss possible implications and further developments regarding the influence of contextual factors, such as state and trait variations, and recent advances in task design.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Review, Article
Drug Type
Alcohol, All substances
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
4 November 2022
Identification #
doi: 10.1159/000527663
Page Range
pp. 1-15

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