, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 61–64 | Cite as

The effects of ethanol upon threshold and response rate for self-stimulation

  • Richard H. Carlson
  • Ralph Lydic
Animal Studies Original Investigations


The hypothesis that ethanol would reduce the threshold for self-stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle was not supported. Ten rats, implanted with electrodes in the lateral hypothalamus, were shaped to bar press for electrical brain stimulation. The effects of 0.6, 0.9, and 1.2 g/kg ethanol injections upon threshold and response rate for self-stimulation were measured. The lowest dose had no effect upon self-stimulation threshold while 0.9 and 1.2 g/kg ethanol raised thresholds. Rate of bar pressing was increased by 0.6 g/kg ethanol but was not affected by higher dose. Results were discussed in terms of a postulated dual effect of ethanol upon a brain arousal system and upon a reward system.

Key words

Alcohol Ethanol Electrical brain stimulation Self-stimulation Lateral hypothalamus Medial forebrain bundle Reinforcement 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard H. Carlson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ralph Lydic
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyTexas Tech University School of MedicineLubbockUSA

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