Contextual renewal of cocaine seeking occasioned by a discriminative stimulus
The goal of this experiment was to determine whether contextual renewal of cocaine seeking occasioned by operant discriminative stimuli (S DS) would occur. Rats were trained to nose-poke for cocaine infusions in the presence of a tone SD, while nose-pokes went unreinforced in the absence of the tone. Once the tone was well established as an S D for cocaine self-administration, extinction of the tone (i.e., nose-pokes in the presence of the tone were no longer reinforced) was conducted in the same context for one group of rats and in a different context for another group of rats. On a test for context renewal, the tone was presented in the original training context for both groups. A reappearance of cocaine seeking in the presence of the tone was observed in the group that had extinction in the different context, but not in the group that had extinction in the original training context. Previous experiments related to contextual renewal of drug seeking are critically evaluated. These results might model human drug relapse after extinction-based treatments.