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Cocaine cues retain silent traces of an excitatory history after conversion into conditioned inhibitors : 'the ghost in the addict' : The ghost in the addict

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posted on 2023-08-05, 11:23 authored by Stanley J. Weiss, David KearnsDavid Kearns

The present experiment investigated the extent to which the A+/AB- conditioned inhibition procedure could counteract an excitatory drug-related conditioning history. In two groups of rats, a light stimulus was established as a signal for the absence of cocaine. For the History group, the light had previously been a discriminative stimulus (S-D) that occasioned cocaine self-administration and could thus be classified as a cocaine excitor. In comparison, the No-History group first encountered the light during conditioned inhibition training. During conditioned inhibition training, both groups self-administered cocaine during tone as well as during click S(D)s, whereas drug seeking was eliminated in click-plus-light, wherein cocaine was not available (A+/AB-). Drug seeking was essentially eliminated in both groups. Nevertheless, on a summation test the light reduced cocaine seeking occasioned by the tone S-D by 95% in the No-History group, but by less than 50% in the History group. This summation test result showed that the effects of a drug-related history persisted even after the light was converted into an effective conditioned inhibitor on the training baseline through the powerful A+/AB- procedure. Future research should seek procedures that produce even stronger conditioned inhibition that eliminates such residual silent' drug excitation, the ghost in the addict'.



Behav Pharmacol


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