Ethanol Consumption in Rats When Dose Size Is Under Subject Control

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Abstract

Rats orally self-administered ethanol when they could control dose size as follows: A lever press initiated a trial; a press on 1 lever increased the previous trial duration by 30% whereas a press on a 2nd lever decreased the previous trial duration by 30%. During a trial, rats could drink either water, 8%, or 16% (wt/vol) ethanol (ETOH) from a lick-sensitive fountain. Mean per session intake of 8% and 16% ETOH was 0.8 g/kg and 1.3 g/kg, respectively. Water intake was negligible. Rats did not show a tendency to maintain a particular trial duration, nor did they adjust intertrial intervals to previous dose size (number of licks). When trials were collected into bouts, a positive relationship was found between bout size and interbout interval; this relationship was statistically significant for the 8% but not the 16% ETOH condition.

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