This experimental procedure provides an animal model of the subjective effects of drugs. A drug is injected and the subject is placed in a test chamber with distinctive environmental cues. This procedure is repeated for several days. During these conditioning trials the animal develops an association between the subject state produced by the drug (e.g., reward comparable to mood elevation and euphoria in humans) and the environmental cues present during the drug state. When the subject is tested in an apparatus that contains the drug-related environmental cues in one compartment and neutral cues in another, it voluntarily moves toward the compartment containing the drug-related cues. This learned association between environmental stimuli and drug effect provides the basis for conditioned place preference (CPP) experiments. Many laboratories are now using this technique to study the subjective properties of drugs because CPP studies are much easier to conduct than IVSA studies. Although the CPP method does not directly measure drug reinforcement, the concordance between CPP and IVSA studies is fairly good.
view of apparatus sans rat
© 1997 Addiction Research Unit/University at Buffalo
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