Rat ultrasonic vocalizations demonstrate that the motivation to contextually reinstate cocaine-seeking behavior does not necessarily involve a hedonic response

David J. Barker, Danielle Bercovicz, Lisa C. Servilio, Steven J. Simmons, Sisi Ma, David H. Root, Anthony P. Pawlak, Mark O. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human self-reports often indicate that changes in mood are a major contributor to drug relapse. Still, arguments have been made that instances of drug-seeking following abstinence in animal models (i.e. relapse/reinstatement) may be outside of hedonic control. Therefore, the present study utilized ultrasonic vocalizations in the rat in order to evaluate affect during cocaine self-administration and contextual reinstatement of cocaine-seeking in a pre-clinical model of drug relapse (abstinence-reinstatement model). Results show that while subjects effectively reinstated drug-seeking (lever pressing) following 30 days of abstinence, and spontaneously recovered/reinstated drug-seeking following 60 days of abstinence, ultrasonic vocalizations did not increase over baseline levels during either reinstatement session. These results are consistent with previous results from our laboratory and current theories of addiction suggesting that cues that are weakly associated with drug consumption can motivate drug-seeking behavior that is outside of hedonic processing. The present study utilized ultrasonic vocalizations to evaluate affect during cocaine self-administration and contextual reinstatement. While subjects effectively reinstated drug-seeking (lever pressing) following 30 days' abstinence, and spontaneously recovered/reinstated drug seeking following 60 days' abstinence, ultrasonic vocalizations did not increase over baseline levels during either reinstatement session. These results are consistent with current theories of addiction suggesting that cues that are weakly associated with drug consumption can motivate drug-seeking behavior that is outside of hedonic processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-790
Number of pages10
JournalAddiction Biology
Volume19
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Affect
  • cocaine
  • dopamine
  • ultrasonic vocalizations

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