Individual Differences in the Effect of Novel Environmental Stimuli Prior to Amphetamine Self-Administration in Rats (Rattus norvegicus)

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Abstract

These experiments determined whether individual differences in response to novelty subsequently predict the ability of novel stimuli, presented prior to the session, to decrease amphetamine self-administration. Using an inescapable locomotor test, the authors found that high-responder rats (Rattus norvegicus) showed a greater novelty-induced decrease in the acquisition of self-administration compared with low-responder rats. This effect was dose dependent and generalized to sucrose-reinforced responding. Using a free-choice place preference test, the authors found that high-novelty-seeking rats also showed a greater novelty-induced decrease in the acquisition of self-administration compared with low-novelty-seeking rats. Regardless of individual differences, novelty had little effect on amphetamine self-administration during the maintenance phase. These results suggest that exposure to novel environmental stimuli may reduce acquisition of drug-taking behavior, especially among high-novelty-seeking individuals.

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