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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cocaine and Selective Associations: Investigations into a Biological Constraint on Learning with Drug Self-administration and Shock Avoidance as Reinforcers

  • Author(s): Weiss, Stanley J.
  • Kearns, David N.
  • Cohn, Scott I.
  • Panlilio, Leigh V.
  • Schindler, Charles W.
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 3.0 license

When a tone-light compound was a discriminative stimulus for cocaine-reinforced responding, the light gained most of the control over responding. In contrast, when the compound was an aversive SD for shock-avoidance, tone control increased. In previous studies, tone control also increased when the tone-light compound was made aversive by signaling food-absence. However, that was not the case in Experiment 2 where tone-light signaled cocaine-absence. Experiment 1 produced an interincentive (cocaine vs. shock) selective association with drug self-administration maintained behavior for the first time. This extends the generality of the selective association biological constraint on learning to self-administered drugs.

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