Haloperidol Blocks the Conditioned Place Preferences Induced by Rewarding Brain Stimulation

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The conditioned place preference test was employed to investigate the effects of neuroleptic challenge on the rewarding properties of lateral hypothalamic stimulation. Conditioning took place during a single day and consisted of five 5-min exposures to each of two environments (differing in color and floor texture). Twenty-four hours later, when provided a choice between the two environments, rats showed strong preferences for the environment in which they had experienced sessions of rewarding brain stimulation. These stimulation-produced place preferences were prevented by pretreatment with the neuroleptic drug, haloperidol (0.3 but not 0.15 mg/kg, ip). On the basis of these results, it was concluded that (a) the conditioned place preference test can provide a rate-free index of brain stimulation reward and (b) dopamine receptor antagonism can result in an attentuation of the rewarding properties of lateral hypothalamic stimulation.

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