Sensitization of Psychomotor Stimulation and Conditioned reward in mice: Differential modulation by contextual learning

Mead, Andy N, Crombag, Hans S and Rocha, Beatriz A (2004) Sensitization of Psychomotor Stimulation and Conditioned reward in mice: Differential modulation by contextual learning. Neuropsychopharmacology, 29 (2). pp. 249-258. ISSN 0893-133X

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Incentive motivation theory ascribes a critical role to reward-associated stimuli in the generation and maintenance of goal-directed behavior. Repeated psychomotor stimulant treatment, in addition to producing sensitization to the psychomotor-activating effects, can enhance the incentive salience of reward-associated cues and increase their ability to influence behavior. In the present study, we sought to investigate this incentive sensitization effect further by developing a model of conditioned reinforcement (CR) in the mouse and investigating the effects of a sensitizing treatment regimen of amphetamine on CR. Furthermore, we assessed the role of contextual stimuli in amphetamine-induced potentiation of CR. We found that mice responded selectively on a lever resulting in the presentation of a cue previously associated with 30% condensed milk solution, indicating that the cue had attained rewarding properties. Prior treatment with amphetamine (4 0.5 mg/kg i.p.) resulted in psychomotor sensitization and enhanced subsequent responding for the CR. Furthermore, this enhancement of responding for the cue occurred independent of the drug-paired context, whereas the sensitized locomotor response was only observed when mice were tested in the same environment as that in which they had received previous amphetamine. These results demonstrate that the CR paradigm previously developed in the rat can be successfully adapted for use in the mouse, and suggest that behavioral sensitization to amphetamine increases the rewarding properties (incentive salience) of reward-paired cues, independent of the drug-paired context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Shared first authorship as the conceptual and methodological design of the experiment was fully collaborative.
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Hans Crombag
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:38
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 15:53
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