, Volume 71, Issue 3, pp 237–241 | Cite as

Effects of apomorphine on elicited and operant pecking in pigeons

  • Joanne S. Abelson
  • James H. Woods
Original Investigations


The effects of apomorphine (0.001–32.0 mg/kg) on elicited and operant pecking were studied in pigeons. Elicited pecking was measured in a 1-h observation test. Apomorphine caused dose-related increases in the pecking elicited by the drug in all the subjects, with maximal responding at 3.2 mg/kg. In contrast, operant responding on a multiple, 5 min fixed interval, 30 response fixed-ratio schedule revealed individual differences in sensitivity to the drug. A dose of 0.32 mg/kg eliminated key pecking in fixed-interval and fixed-ratio components in 4 (group 1) of the 15 subjects while 3.2 mg/kg eliminated responding in 9 other subjects (group 2), and 2 of the subjects (group 3) required 32.0 mg/kg to eliminate responding. The 13 birds in groups 1 and 2 showed decreases in operant responding with concomitant increases in elicited pecking. For the 2 remaining birds, increases in operant behavior were highly correlated with increased stereotypy. The effects of apomorphine on operant behavior appeared to depend on induced stereotypy, with rate-decreasing effects resulting from the disruption of ongoing behavior by stereotyped pecking aimed else-where in the chamber, and rate increases resulting from the redirection of elicited pecking towards the operant key.

Key words

Apomorphine, behavioral effects Operant behavior, apomorphine effects Pigeons, operant behavior, stereotypy Drug-induced dopamine agonists, behavioral effects 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne S. Abelson
    • 1
  • James H. Woods
    • 2
  1. 1.CNS Pharmacology SectionWarner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Research LabsAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Psychology and PharmacologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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