Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa E. Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Bradley Huitema

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Spates

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The current study implemented place conditioning, a well-established preclinical screening assay of the appetitive and aversive effects of psychoactive drugs, to examine the behavioral effects of an atypical hallucinogen and kappa opioid receptor agonist, salvinorin A in male Sprague-Dawley rats. This study challenges previous findings of Braida et al. (2008) who reported that salvinorin A produced conditioned place preference in male Wistar rats with a different vehicle used in drug preparation and a different method of data analysis. In the current study, 0.4 mg/kg salvinorin A produced a significant reduction in horizontal activity on all drug conditioning trials compared to the corresponding vehicle trials. After drug conditioning, the 0.04 mg/kg-treated group spent slightly less time on the drug-paired side and the 0.4 mg/kg-treated group spent more time on the drug-paired side than before conditioning, although this difference was less than the difference observed in the control group. Moreover, both the 0.04 mg/kg and the 0.4 mg/kg group spent significantly less time on the drug-paired side than the vehicle-paired side on test day. The current findings indicate that salvinorin A (0.04 and 0.4 mg/kg) established conditioned place aversion in male Sprague-Dawley rats.

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