Classical conditioning, decay and extinction of cocaine-induced hyperactivity and stereotypy

Gordon A. Barr, Nansie S. Sharpless, Stanley Cooper, Stanley R. Schiff, William Paredes, Wagner H. Bridger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Following 10 daily pairings of multiple conditioned stimuli with injection of cocaine (15 mg/kg), the presentation of the stimuli alone elicited behaviors in rats similar to those induced by cocaine. The behaviors included increased duration or frequency of rearing, sniffing, head bobbing, and horizontal locomotor activity (crossing). The level of the conditioned response for several of these behaviors approximated that induced by the drug itself. The conditioned drug effect showed decay over 15 days but little extinction during 4 daily trials. Brain concentrations of the dopamine metabolites, homovanillic acid and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, were similar in the conditioned and pseudoconditioned control groups in both the caudate and mesolimbic areas. The behavioral results demonstrate that, in a classical conditioning paradigm, previously neutral stimuli can elicit behaviors similar to those induced by cocaine and that certain conditioned responses show time related decline. This agress with the reported conditioning of amphetamine's behavioral effects but differs in terms of the action on brain dopamine turnover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1351
Number of pages11
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 3 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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