Date of Award

12-1996

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Mallot

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

This study investigated whether two stimulants, cocaine and d-amphetamine, interfered with the choice of a larger, more delayed reinforcer over a smaller, less delayed reinforcer (self-control) in rats. Four male Sprague-Dawley rats were tested in a two-lane runway 220 cm in length. The subjects were given a choice between immediate delivery of one ( 45 mg) food pellet immediately following entry into the goal box and delivery of four pellets eight seconds after entry into the goal box. During the training phase (no drug administration) all of the subjects consistently preferred the larger, more delayed reinforcer, indicating self control. With acute administration of cocaine (1.0, 3.2, 5.6, 10.0, and 18.0 mg/kg) and d-amphetamine (1.0, 3.2, 4.2, and 5.6 mg/kg) the subjects continued to choose the larger, more delayed reinforcer. Chronic administration of cocaine at the highest dose under which the animals completed most of the trials during acute administration did not affect preference. These results indicate that the tested stimulants failed to reduce self-control in rats.

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