SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Siegel, S. (2016). The heroin overdose mystery. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25, 375-79.

Summary: The article proposes an explanation of heroin overdose that relies on principles of Pavlovian conditioning.

Questions to Consider: [Critical thinking questions based on the article to gauge student comprehension and analysis]

  1. What issues surrounding “K.J.’s” death make simply taking too much heroin unlikely to have led to his death?
  2. What are the reasons provided to explain why addicts usually don’t overdose?
  3. Which model of drug addiction that you’ve learned about is most similar to the explanation provided in this paper to explain heroin overdose?

Article 2: Lubman, D. I., Allen, N. B., Peters, L. A., & Deakin, J. F. W. (2008). Electrophysiological evidence that drug cues have greater salience than other affective stimuli in opiate addiction. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 22, 836-42.

Summary: This paper describes research investigating how drug-related and other affective stimuli are processed by heroin addicts.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What is the significance of ERPs like P300?
  2. How did heroin addicts compare to controls in their response to non-drug related cues?
  3. How was the response to drug-related cues related to subjective reports of drug craving?

Article 3: Zaki, P.A., & Evans, C.J. (1998). ORL-1: An awkward child of the opioid receptor family.

Summary: This paper explores the structural and functional parallels between ORL-1 and other endogenous opioid receptors.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What structural similarities exist between ORL-1 and other endogenous opioid receptors?
  2. What does the research suggest about the role of nociceptin in pain?
  3. How do the behavioral effects of nociceptin differ from other endogenous opioid neurotransmitters?