Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Amy L Odum

Abstract

Animal models have previously been used to study tolerance and sensitization using two different procedures that are difficult to compare. Tolerance has been studied by administering a drug to a subject that is engaged in an operant behavior, and sensitization by administering a drug to a subject that is not engaged in an operant behavior. Previous research has shown that sensitization can occur when d-amphetamine is administered to rats emitting an operant behavior for a food presentation. The first goal of the experiment was to show operant sensitization using dose response curves. The second goal of the present experiment was to determine if operant sensitization is context specific. These goals were addressed by administering d-amphetamine to rats engaged in an operant behavior in two stimulus contexts and creating dose-response curves. Sensitization occurred but was not found to be context-specific, with the dose-response curves not being significantly different between the two contexts. It is not clear whether this result was due to the drug administration procedure or the counterbalancing assignments used. Further research is needed to determine whether operant sensitization is context specific.

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Psychology Commons

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