REVIEW ARTICLEHuman behavioral pharmacology, past, present, and future: symposium presented at the 50th annual meeting of the Behavioral Pharmacology SocietyComer, Sandra D.a; Bickel, Warren K.b; Yi, Richardb; de Wit, Harrietd; Higgins, Stephen T.e; Wenger, Galen R.c; Johanson, Chris-Ellynf; Kreek, Mary Jeanneg Author Information a Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute b Department of Psychiatry c Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences d Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago e Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont f Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University g Laboratory of the Biology of Addictive Diseases, Rockefeller University, USA Correspondence to Dr Sandra D. Comer, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 120, NY 10032, USA E-mail: [email protected] Received 8 January 2008 Accepted as revised 3 May 2010 Behavioural Pharmacology 21(4):p 251-277, July 2010. | DOI: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e32833bb9f8 Buy Metrics Abstract A symposium held at the 50th annual meeting of the Behavioral Pharmacology Society in May 2007 reviewed progress in the human behavioral pharmacology of drug abuse. Studies on drug self-administration in humans are reviewed that assessed reinforcing and subjective effects of drugs of abuse. The close parallels observed between studies in humans and laboratory animals using similar behavioral techniques have broadened our understanding of the complex nature of the pharmacological and behavioral factors controlling drug self-administration. The symposium also addressed the role that individual differences, such as sex, personality, and genotype play in determining the extent of self-administration of illicit drugs in human populations. Knowledge of how these factors influence human drug self-administration has helped validate similar differences observed in laboratory animals. In recognition that drug self-administration is but one of many choices available in the lives of humans, the symposium addressed the ways in which choice behavior can be studied in humans. These choice studies in human drug abusers have opened up new and exciting avenues of research in laboratory animals. Finally, the symposium reviewed behavioral pharmacology studies conducted in drug abuse treatment settings and the therapeutic benefits that have emerged from these studies. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.