Differential vulnerability to the punishment of cocaine related behaviours: effects of locus of punishment, cocaine taking history and alternative reinforcer availability
Everitt, Barry J
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Pelloux, Y., Murray, J., & Everitt, B. J. (2014). Differential vulnerability to the punishment of cocaine related behaviours: effects of locus of punishment, cocaine taking history and alternative reinforcer availability. Psychopharmacology https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3648-5
Background: The availability of alternative reinforcement has been shown to reduce drug use, but it remains unclear whether it facilitates a reduction or cessation of drug seeking or taking. Objectives: We compared the effects of punishment of cocaine seeking or taking behaviour after brief or extended cocaine-taking histories when behavioural reallocation was facilitated or not by making available an alternative ingestive reinforcer (sucrose). Methods: In the first experiment, punishment of either seeking or taking responses was introduced immediately after training on the seeking-taking chained schedule. In the second experiment, punishment of cocaine seeking was introduced after 12 additional days of either 1 or 6 h daily access to cocaine self-administration. In both experiments, beginning 1 week before the introduction of punishment, a subset of rats had concurrent nose poke access to sucrose while seeking or taking cocaine. Results: The presence of an alternative source of reinforcement markedly facilitated behavioural reallocation from punished cocaine taking after acquisition. It also facilitated punishment-induced suppression of cocaine seeking after an extensive cocaine self-administration history likely by prompting goal-directed motivational control over drug use. However, a significant proportion of rats were deemed compulsive—maintaining drug use after an extensive cocaine history despite the presence of abstinence-promoting positive and negative incentives. Conclusion: Making available an alternative reinforcer facilitates disengagement from punished cocaine use through at least two different processes but remains ineffective in a subpopulation of vulnerable animals, which continued to seek cocaine despite the aversive consequence of punishment and the presence of the alternative positive reinforcer.
Cocaine seeking-taking, Alternative reinforcer, Compulsivity, Rat
This work was supported by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) Grant to BJE (G9536855) and was conducted within the MRC/Wellcome Trust Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (G0001354)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3648-5
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/245398
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/
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