Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

December 2001


Published in Behavioural Pharmacology, 12, 267–275. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; copyright © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Used by permission.


Previous work has shown that individual differences in locomotor activity in an inescapable novel environment can predict acquisition of amphetamine self-administration. The current study examined whether individual differences in approach to novelty in a free choice test could also predict amphetamine self-administration. Further, the current study examined whether individual differences in either free choice or inescapable novelty tests could predict responding for a nondrug reinforcer (sucrose) in the presence and absence of amphetamine. Male and female rats were first tested for their response to free choice novelty (playground maze and novelty-induced place preference tests) and inescapable novelty. They were then tested for acquisition of sucrose-reinforced responding, amphetamine-induced changes in maintenance of sucrose-reinforced responding, and amphetamine self-administration. Based on the inescapable novelty test, acquisition of sucrose-reinforced responding was more rapid in male high responders (HR) compared to low responders (LR). This effect in males did not generalize to females. None of the novelty tests predicted the ability of amphetamine to decrease sucrose-maintained responding. However, using the inescapable novelty test, both male and female HRs self-administered more amphetamine than LRs within the dose range tested (0.03-0.16mg/ kg/infusion). Neither the playground maze nor the novelty-induced place preference test predicted amphetamine self-administration. These results indicate that responses to free choice novelty and inescapable novelty predict different components of amphetamine-induced behavior.