, Volume 99, Issue 3, pp 352–356 | Cite as

MDMA produces stimulant-like conditioned locomotor activity

  • Lisa H. Gold
  • George F. Koob
Original Investigations


Daily administration of a drug in a distinctive environment establishes contingencies that support Pavlovian conditioning. Environmental cues that are paired with the drug injection and that predict the onset of drug action can become conditioned stimuli. Ultimately, the conditioned stimuli come to predict the availability of drug and develop the potential to engender conditioned drug responses. Various psychostimulant drugs can produce conditioned locotnotion when tested in the presence of environmental cues that were repeatedly associated with the drug experience. The ability of amphetamine and cocaine to produce conditioned locomotion was demonstrated in the present study. Stimulant-like properties of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) have been reported in locomotor paradigms, drug discrimination procedures, and human subjective questionnaires. MDMA (5 mg/kg), paired for 5 days to a distinct environment signalled by the presence of a distinct odor, produced enhanced locomotion during a test probe with the odor alone indicating that MDMA can also produce conditioned locomotion. The observation that the stimulus properties of MDMA can also become associated with environmental cues supports the hypothesis that some of the behavioral effects of MDMA resemble those of other classical psychostimulants such as amphetamine and cocaine.

Key words

Conditioned locomotion MDMA Aniphetamine Cocaine Rat 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa H. Gold
    • 1
  • George F. Koob
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Basic and Clinical ResearchResearch Institute of Scripps ClinicLa JollaUSA

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