Effects of removing food on maintenance of drinking initiated by pairings of sipper and food

Arthur Tomie, Nicu R. Costea, Kashfia Vohra, Larissa A. Pohorecky

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2 Scopus citations


Two experiments evaluated the effects of removing food presentations on the maintenance of drinking induced by experience with sipper - food pairings. In Exp 1, ethanol drinking was induced in non-deprived Long-Evans rats by Pavlovian conditioning procedures employing an ethanol sipper as conditioned stimulus (CS) and food pellet as unconditioned stimulus (US). The Paired/Ethanol group received presentations of the ethanol sipper CS followed immediately by the response-independent presentation of the food pellet US. The Random/Ethanol group received the ethanol sipper CS and food US randomly with respect to one another. For both groups, the concentration of ethanol in the sipper CS [(3%, 4%, 6%, 8% (vol./vol.)] was increased across sessions, and, as in previous studies employing low concentrations of ethanol in non-deprived rats (i.e., maintained with free access to food in their home cages), the two procedures induced comparable levels of sipper CS-directed ethanol drinking. Removing food US presentations had no effect on sipper CS-directed ethanol drinking in either group. In Exp 2, groups of non-deprived Long-Evans rats were trained either with water or ethanol in the sipper CS paired with food US. Removing food US presentations had no effect on ethanol drinking in the Paired/Ethanol group, but water drinking in the Paired/Water group declined systematically across sessions. Results indicate that food US presentations contribute to the maintenance of water drinking but not to the maintenance of ethanol drinking. Implications for accounts of ethanol drinking based on Pavlovian sign-tracking, behavioral economics and intermittent sipper procedures are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-467
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


  • Ethanol drinking
  • Extinction procedures
  • Intermittent sipper
  • Pavlovian conditioning
  • Rats
  • Water drinking


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