Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Baker

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Kollins

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study replicated the effects of differential outcomes on the acquisition of a cocaine-saline discrimination in rats and examined whether learning via differential outcomes (DO) influenced stimulus generalization to other drugs. Previous investigations have suggested that the dopamine (DA) D3 receptor subtype may modulate the reinforcing effects of cocaine. Pharmacological compounds which have been identified as having a greater affinity for DA D3 receptors are 7-OH-DPAT and PD 128907. The present study examined whether the DO conditions applied during training had an impact on the generalization of these test compounds. Two groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained to discriminate 10 mg/kg cocaine from saline. After reaching discrimination criterion, subjects were exposed to stimulus generalization tests. Results show that the DO group met the discrimination criterion in significantly fewer sessions than the control group. Results of stimulus generalization tests show no significant differences between training groups. Data suggest that differential outcomes can be applied to a cocaine-saline discrimination without altering stimulus generalization.

Included in

Psychology Commons