Psychopharmacology

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 63–66 | Cite as

The reinforcing action of morphine and its paradoxical side effect

  • Norman White
  • Lawrence Sklar
  • Zalman Amit
Animal Studies

Abstract

Rats were trained to run down a runway for food in the goal box, and were then tested with one trial per day for 5 days. After running in the runway and eating in the goal box each rat was injected with a drug and returned to the empty goal box for 50 min. Over the 5 trials, rats that received morphine sulphate increased their running speed approximately 400% while the amount of food they ate in the goal box decreased to about 70% of baseline values. The running speed of rats that received lithium chloride decreased to about 30%, while the amount of food they ate decreased to less than 10% of baseline. These two variables did not change for rats that received saline injections. The large increases in running speed observed in the rats that received morphine injections were attributed to an interaction (but not simple summation) between the positive reinforcing effects of morphine and food. The accompanying paradoxical decrease in amount eaten was discussed in terms of the complex pharmacological properties of morphine and it was suggested that morphine may have a reinforcing effect on behavior that is independent of its affective properties.

Key words

Morphine Lithium chloride Reinforcement Conditioned taste aversion 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Beach, H. D.: Morphine addiction in rats. Canad. J. Psychol. 11, 104–112 (1957)Google Scholar
  2. Bolotow, I.: Attenuation of conditioned taste aversion by catecholamine depletion in rats. Paper presented at the Eastern Psychological Association, New York 1975Google Scholar
  3. Cappell, H., LeBlanc, A. E., Endrenyi, L.: Aversive conditioning by psychoactive drugs: Effects of morphine, alcohol and chlordiazepoxide. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 29, 239–246 (1973)Google Scholar
  4. Davis, W. M., Smith, S. G.: Noradrenergic basis for reinforcement associated with morphine action in nondependent rats. In: Drug addiction: Neurobiology and influences on behavior, J. M. Singh and H. Lal, eds., pp. 155–168 New York: Intercontinental Medical Book Corporation 1974Google Scholar
  5. Deneau, G. A., Yanagita, R., Seevers, M. H.: Self-administration of psychoactive substances by the monkey. A measure of psychological dependence. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 16, 30–48 (1969)Google Scholar
  6. Garcia, J., Ervin, F. R., Koelling, R. A.: Learning with prolonged delay of reinforcement. Psychon. Sci. 5, 121–122 (1966)Google Scholar
  7. Jacquet, Y. F.: Conditioned aversion during morphine maintenance in mice and rats. Physiol. Behav. 11, 527–541 (1973)Google Scholar
  8. Kolb, L.: Pleasure and deterioration from narcotic addiction. Hygiene (Wien) 9, 699–724 (1925)Google Scholar
  9. Lasagna, L., von Felsinger, J. M., Beecher, H. K.: Drug induced mood changes in man. I. Observations on healthy subjects, chronically ill patients, and “post addicts”. J. Amer. med. Ass. 157, 1006 (1955)Google Scholar
  10. Nachman, M.: Learned taste and temperature aversion due to LiCl sickness after temporal delays. J. comp. physiol. Psychol. 73, 223–230 (1970)Google Scholar
  11. Weeks, J. R., Collins, R. J.: Primary addiction to morphine in rats. Fed. Proc. 30, 277 (1971)Google Scholar
  12. Wise, R. A., Yokel, B., deWitt, H.: Both positive reinforcement and conditioned aversion from apomorphine in rats. Science 191, 1273–1275 (1976)Google Scholar
  13. Woods, J. H., Schuster, C. R.: Reinforcement properties of morphine, cocaine and SPA as a function of unit dose. Int. J. Addic 3, 231–236 (1967)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman White
    • 1
  • Lawrence Sklar
    • 1
  • Zalman Amit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations