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Review
, 20 (3), 55-65

Behavioral Sensitization in Humans

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Review

Behavioral Sensitization in Humans

K W Sax et al. J Addict Dis.

Abstract

Behavioral sensitization is the process whereby repeated, intermittent stimulant administration produces a progressively greater and enduring behavioral response. For over two decades, behavioral sensitization has been reliably demonstrated in a number of different animal species and has been proposed as a model for the development of stimulant dependence. However, the application of this model to humans is limited since there have been relatively few studies of sensitization in human subjects. Nonetheless, results from these studies suggest that, similar to animal studies, enhanced behavioral responses do occur following repeated stimulant administration that resemble sensitization. Further research is necessary to examine characteristics of sensitization in humans, including the neurobiological systems involved.

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