Title

Effects of White and Infrared Lighting on Apomorphine-Induced Pecking in Pigeons

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Behavioural Pharmacology

Volume

19

Issue

4

Publisher

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Publication Date

2008

First Page

347

Last Page

352

DOI

10.1097/FBP.0b013e32830990ac

Abstract

This experiment was concerned with the role of the environment in the production and form of apomorphine-induced pecking of pigeons. Earlier literature has suggested that the pecking occurs even when pigeons are placed in complete darkness, but there are no systematic or quantitative reports of such pecking. Six pigeons were tested with doses of 0.1, 0.3, and 1.0 mg/kg apomorphine. Tests were made in conditions of white and infrared light. The apparatus used novel force transduction measures that provided for both the detection of a peck as well as its peak forcefulness. At the lowest dose tested, apomorphine elicited pecking when the pigeon was placed in white light, but not when the dose was examined under infrared lighting. As the dose increased, however, pecking was observed regardless of lighting condition. No consistent differences were found in forcefulness of pecking as a function of lighting condition or dose. Though response output was seemingly unaffected by the lighting condition at higher doses, videotaped analysis revealed important changes in the formal characteristics of pecking. In white light, apomorphine elicited pecking at stimuli in the chamber (e.g. screw heads or the pigeon's own toes), whereas in infrared light pecking was directed at the floor directly in front of the pigeon. Such differences may be attributable to shifts in control to other stimulus modalities when vision is limited. Additionally, apomorphine may have direct effects on retinal dopamine function modulating the expression of pecking in the dark.

Comments

Originally published by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Abstract available through remote link. Subscription required to access article fulltext.