Animal Models of Behavioral Processes that Underlie the Occurrence of Impulsive Behaviors in Humans

  • Jerry B. Richards
  • Amy M. Gancarz
  • Larry W. HawkJr.


In this chapter, we describe a systematic approach for measuring three separate behavioral processes in laboratory animals that may result in failure to inhibit maladaptive behavior: (1) insensitivity to delayed consequences, (2) poor response inhibition, and (3) lapses of attention. We have developed procedures to measure these behavioral processes in both rats and mice. These measures use the same testing apparatus to measure each process in the two species, and these procedures are similar to parallel procedures used to measure these processes in humans. We describe the results from studies that support the validity of these test procedures in two different strains of mice (C57BL/6NTac, and 129/SvEvTac), as consistent differences in behavior indicate that C57 mice are more impulsive than 129s mice. This systematic characterization of differences in impulsivity between C57 and 129s mice illustrates both the wealth of data that can be obtained using these procedures and the potential usefulness of these procedures for characterizing impulsive behavior in rodents and humans.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Impulsive Behavior Delay Discount Imperative Stimulus Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The research described in this chapter and preparation of the manuscript was supported in part by grants R01DA010588 and R21DA014183, Jerry Richards PI and by R01MH069434, Larry Hawk PI. This work could not have been accomplished without the help of a number of coworkers, including Ashley Acheson, Andy Farrar, Artur Kieres, and Kathy Hausknecht. We thank Becky Ashare for her comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry B. Richards
    • 1
  • Amy M. Gancarz
  • Larry W. HawkJr.
  1. 1.Research Institute on AddictionsBuffaloUSA

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