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Effects of morphine, d-amphetamine, and pentobarbital on shock and light discrimination performance in rats

, : Effects of morphine, d-amphetamine, and pentobarbital on shock and light discrimination performance in rats. Psychopharmacology 70(2): 213-217

The effects of 2 and 4 mg/kg morphine sulfate, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg d-amphetamine sulfate, and 6 and 12 mg/kg pentobaribital sodium were tested in rats in two different discrete-trial two-choice discrimination tasks. The discriminative stimuli for one task were high and low intensity shocks. In the other, correct choices were signaled by the position of a brief light flash. Morphine (4 mg/kg) significantly disrupted performance of both tasks, with more reliable disturbance occurring in the shock discrimination animals. Pentobarbital (12 mg/kg), while exerting noticeable effects on gross motor behavior, had little effect on discrimination performance; d-amphetamine (1 mg/kg) was disruptive of discrimination performance in only some animals. The results indicate that much of the effect of relatively low doses of morphine on the shock discrimination performance of rats may be due not to its putative specific antinociceptive properties, but to alterations in conceptual-judgmental processes or decreases in motivation (e.g., hunger) unrelated to pain.


PMID: 6776582

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