, Volume 78, Issue 3, pp 197–203 | Cite as

Effects of chlorpromazine and d-amphetamine on schedule-controlled and schedule-related behavior of rabbits

  • J. E. Barrett
  • J. A. Stanley
Original Investigations


A lever-lifting response by Dutch Belted and New Zealand White rabbits was maintained in water-deprived animals by 0.25% saccharin solution and in food-deprived animals by food pellets under a multiple 3-min fixed-interval (FI) 30-response fixed-ratio (FR) schedule. Rabbits responding for the saccharin solution had food freely available during the session and in the home cage, whereas those responding for pellets had water continuously available during the session as well as in the home cage. Under nondrug conditions the FR and FI schedules controlled different rates and patterns of responding in the rabbit that were characteristic of those found with other species. In addition, eating or drinking occurred during the inital portion of the FI under the saccharin solution and initial food presentation schedules, respectively. Doses of d-amphetamine (0.1–10.0 mg/kg) increased responding under the FI and FR schedules of food delivery, but increased only FI responding maintained by the saccharin solution. Doses of 3.0–10.0 mg/kg d-amphetamine produced extremely high (300–800% of control) rates of stereotyped perseverative lever responding. Schedule-related eating or drinking were unaffected or decreased at doses of d-amphetamine that increased schedule-controlled responding. Chlorpromazine (0.03–0.3 mg/kg) increased FI responding maintained both by saccharin and food, whereas FR responding generally was unaffected at these dose levels; eating but not drinking was increased with chlorpromazine. Since the behavioral effects of drugs such as amphetamine and chlorpromazine differ somewhat in the rabbit from those found with other typically studied nonhuman mammals, further studies with the rabbit may yield useful information for comparative behavioral pharmacology.

Key words

Operant conditioning Behavioral pharmacology Drug stereotypy Eating Drinking Schedule-controlled behavior d-Amphetamine Chlorpromazine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. E. Barrett
    • 1
  • J. A. Stanley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA

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