, Volume 219, Issue 2, pp 647-659
Date: 24 Nov 2011

Schedule-induced polydipsia as a model of compulsive behavior: neuropharmacological and neuroendocrine bases

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Schedule-induced polydipsia (SIP), characterized by the development of excessive drinking under intermittent food-reinforcement schedules, has been proposed as a successful model for obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), schizophrenia, and alcohol abuse.


The purpose of this study was to review the main findings and current thinking regarding the use of SIP for compulsivity assessment and evaluate its contribution to improving our knowledge of the neurobehavioral mechanisms underlying the excessive behavior manifested in SIP relevant to compulsive behavior disorders.


The literature reviews SIP procedure and surveys main findings about its neurobehavioral basis and pharmacology relevant to its possible status as a model for compulsive disorders. Specifically, we reviewed effects of antipsychotics and serotoninergic drugs used in the treatment of OCD and schizophrenia. We also considered individual differences in SIP and its relevance as a possible compulsivity endophenotype.


SIP represents an animal model of non-regulatory and excessive drinking that may be valid for studying the psychopharmacology of the compulsive phenotype and modeling different psychopathologies from compulsivity spectrum disorders.