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ERIC Number: EJ862915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Isolating Behavioral Mechanisms of Inter-Temporal Choice: Nicotine Effects on Delay Discounting and Amount Sensitivity
Locey, Matthew L.; Dallery, Jesse
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v91 n2 p213-223 Mar 2009
Many drugs of abuse produce changes in impulsive choice, that is, choice for a smaller-sooner reinforcer over a larger-later reinforcer. Because the alternatives differ in both delay and amount, it is not clear whether these drug effects are due to the differences in reinforcer delay or amount. To isolate the effects of delay, we used a titrating delay procedure. In phase 1, 9 rats made discrete choices between variable delays (1 or 19 s, equal probability of each) and a delay to a single food pellet. The computer titrated the delay to a single food pellet until the rats were indifferent between the two options. This indifference delay was used as the starting value for the titrating delay for all future sessions. We next evaluated the acute effects of nicotine (subcutaneous 1.0, 0.3, 0.1, and 0.03 mg/kg) on choice. If nicotine increases delay discounting, it should have increased preference for the variable delay. Instead, nicotine had very little effect on choice. In a second phase, the titrated delay alternative produced three food pellets instead of one, which was again produced by the variable delay (1 s or 19 s) alternative. Under this procedure, nicotine increased preference for the one pellet alternative. Nicotine-induced changes in impulsive choice are therefore likely due to differences in reinforcer amount rather than differences in reinforcer delay. In addition, it may be necessary to include an amount sensitivity parameter in any mathematical model of choice when the alternatives differ in reinforcer amount. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A