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Effect of schedule of reinforcement on cue-elicited reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior

, : Effect of schedule of reinforcement on cue-elicited reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. Behavioural Pharmacology 19(2): 129-136

Cocaine-associated cues can elicit incentive motivational effects that drive cocaine-seeking behavior and contribute to relapse. The extinction/reinstatement model is commonly used to measure these effects in animals. This study examined the influence of training and testing schedules of reinforcement on cue-elicited reinstatement. Lever presses during training resulted in cues and cocaine (0.75mg/kg/IV) on either continuous or partial reinforcement schedules [fixed ratio (FIR) 1 or 11, variable ratio (VIR) 5 or 11]. Animals then underwent extinction training, followed by a test for cue-elicited reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior by response-contingent cue presentations on either a continuous (FIR 1) or a partial reinforcement schedule (FIR 11). Partial reinforcement during training resulted in higher response rates during cue-elicited reinstatement relative to continuous reinforcement. In contrast, delivery of cues on a continuous reinforcement schedule during testing yielded higher response rates relative to delivery on a partial reinforcement schedule. Finally, the shift from a partial to a continuous reinforcement schedule across training and testing phases did not alter response rates. These findings provide important information for choosing parameters for reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior that would allow the most sensitive method to detect changes in response rate after an experimental manipulation.


PMID: 18332677

DOI: 10.1097/FBP.0b013e3282f62c89

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