, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 137–143 | Cite as

Sensory and associative effects of LSD on classical appetitive conditioning of the rabbit jaw movement response

  • I. Gormezano
  • John A. Harvey
  • Ellen Aycock
Original Investigations


Three experiments were conducted to determine the effects of LSD (30 nmol/kg) in classical appetitive conditioning of the rabbit jaw movement response (JMR). In experiment 1, LSD significantly enhanced the acquisition of conditioned responses (CRs). The performance of control groups receiving unpaired presentations of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) demonstrated that LSD's enhancing effect on conditioning could not be attributed to an elevation in baseline responding, sensitization, or pseudoconditioning. Accordingly, experiments 2 and 3 were conducted to determine whether LSD's enhancement of conditioning could have arisen from its altering the sensory processing of either the CS or UCS, or botj. In experiment 2, LSD was found to have no significant effect on the functions relating UCS magnitude to the frequency, amplitude, or number of sinusoidal peaks comprising each unconditioned response (UCR). In contrast, experiment 3 revealed that LSD significantly enhanced the frequency of CRs to an extended range of CS intensities and lowered the CS intensity threshold. It was concluded that the enhancing effect of LSD on the acquisition of CRs is attributable, at least in part, to the drug's enhancement of the sensory processing of the CS.

Key words

LSD Classical conditioning Rabbit Learning Sensory processing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Gormezano
    • 1
  • John A. Harvey
    • 1
  • Ellen Aycock
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychology and PharmacologyThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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