On the measurement of incentive motivation in animal models
- Federico Sanabria -
Arizona State University, Tempe USA
Preclinical research on substance use disorders and other psychiatric ailments regularly draws inferences on seemingly intractable psychological constructs, such as incentive motivation, from the behavior of animal models. The validity of such inferences rests on the judicious application of adequate behavioral methods, drawn from empirically substantiated theory. The scientific literature currently provides a broad range of methods for assessing incentive motivation, each with its own strengths and limitations. This presentation provides an overview of these methods, highlighting a particularly critical and prevalent limitation: their reduced ability to avoid false positives. This presentation advances an alternative approach to the measurement of incentive motivation that explicitly addresses this concern. The theoretical and empirical support for this approach is discussed.