Carrots and sticks fail to change behavior in cocaine addiction

Karen Ersche, Claire M Gillan, Peter Jones, Guy Williams, Laetitia Ward, Maartje Luijten, Wit Sanne De, Barbara Sahakian, Edward Bullmore & Trevor Robbins
Cocaine addiction is a major public health problem that is particularly difficult to treat. Without medically proven pharmacological treatments, interventions to change the maladaptive behavior of addicted individuals mainly rely on psychosocial approaches. Here we report on impairments in cocaine-addicted patients to act purposefully toward a given goal and on the influence of extended training on their behavior. When patients were rewarded for their behavior, prolonged training improved their response rate toward the goal but...
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