Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2007


Published in Behav Brain Res. 2007 January 25; 176(2): 292–301. Used by permission.


Three experiments examined the effects of drug-extinction when a drug state served as a conditional stimulus (CS) for sucrose delivery or as a positive feature for pairings between a discrete CS (e.g., 15-s light-on) and sucrose. Some conditioning models predict that drug-state will facilitate the conditional response (CR) based on an association with sucrose whether the drug is trained as a CS or as a facilitator. If so, repeated presentation of the drug state alone (drug-extinction) should decrease the CR in both situations. Nicotine (0.4 mg/kg), amphetamine (AMP, 1 mg/kg), and chlordiazepoxide (CDP, 5 mg/kg) facilitated a goal-tracking conditioned response to the discrete CS; however, AMP and CDP did not evoke reliable responding without an interposed stimulus, suggesting that associations between these drug states and sucrose are not expressed as anticipatory food-seeking (goal tracking). Repeated presentation of each drug state alone did not disrupt facilitation by nicotine, amphetamine, or CDP; suggesting that the drug states did not facilitate goal tracking based on a direct association with sucrose. This latter finding implicates a higher-order or non-associative mechanism for facilitation of anticipatory food-seeking by drug-states in this Pavlovian discrimination task.