, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 275–301 | Cite as

Intraspecies aggression in rats: Effects of d-amphetamine and chlordiazepoxide

  • Klaus A. Miczek
Original Investigations Animal Studies


d-Amphetamine sulfate and chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride, administered to either the dominant or subordinate rat, altered several components of fighting behavior in a dose-dependent biphasic manner. Stereotypic sequences of attack, threat, defense, and submission were generated between pairs of previously isolated Sprague-Dawley rats by extinction of a food-reinforced response. Low doses of amphetamine (0.05, 0.1 mg/kg) and chlordiazepoxide (2.5, 5.0 mg/kg) given i.m. to the dominant rat 30 min prior to 15 min tests increased attack bites and leaps and the display of aggressive postures and threats, whereas higher doses of both drugs (0.5, 1.0 mg/kg amphetamine; 20 mg/kg chlordiazepoxide) suppressed attacks and threats. Amphetamine and chlordiazepoxide, administered to the subordinate rat, caused a more prolonged display of submissive-supine and defensive-upright postures; chlordiazepoxide (10.0, 20.0 mg/kg) prolonged immobile crouching whereas amphetamine (0.5, 1.0 mg/kg) greatly reduced this response. Drugged subordinate rats also provoked more attacks and threats by the non-drugged opponents. The multi-response analysis of fighting reveals that various elements of aggressive and defensive-submissive behavior patterns are differentially sensitive to drug action. The results indicate that amphetamine and chlordiazepoxide can facilitate or inhibit attack or defense depending on the dose level and which of the opponents was injected, but do not reverse dominance-subordination relationships.

Key words

d-Amphetamine Sulfate Chlordiazepoxide Aggression Fighting Defense Social Interactions Locomotor Behavior 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus A. Miczek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarnegie-Mellon UniversityPittsburgh

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