Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We have shown that prior repeated exposure to d-amphetamine facilitates appetitive Pavlovian conditioning. However, animals sensitised in this manner also show elevated levels of stimulated activity. To investigate whether enhanced conditioning was dependent upon increased activity, a conditioned inhibition task was employed in the present study. Rats received d-amphetamine (2 mg/kg, IP) or vehicle once per day for 7 days. After a 7-day drug-free period, an activity assay confirmed that repeated d-amphetamine treatment markedly elevated the locomotor response to a subsequent challenge with 0.5 mg/kg d-amphetamine. Conditioning began 6 days later. In phase 1, stimulus A+ (light or tone) immediately preceded sucrose availability (excitatory conditioning). In phase 2, sucrose again was presented after A+ alone, but not after presentation of a compound of A+ with a second stimulus (AB-). Sensitisation enhanced the acquisition of conditioned approach behaviour to the excitatory stimulus A+ in phase 1. Furthermore, acquisition of conditioned inhibition to the stimulus compound, AB-, was also facilitated. Thus, sensitised rats showed reduced levels of responding to the stimulus compound far sooner than controls. Finally, a retardation test was carried out in stage 3, in which the inhibitory stimulus B- was paired alone with sucrose reward. Sensitised rats initially showed retarded acquisition of excitatory conditioned responding relative to controls, suggesting that B possessed stronger inhibitory associations in these animals. However, sensitised animals again exhibited higher levels of responding in later sessions, consistent with the enhanced excitatory conditioning shown in phase 1. These findings suggest that prior repeated d-amphetamine enhanced the acquisition of inhibitory and excitatory Pavlovian associations; a propensity not readily attributable to stimulated locomotor hyperactivity. © Springer-Verlag 1999.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





120 - 131