Drug Discrimination Studies in Animals

A Behavioral Approach to Understanding the Role of Neurotransmitter Receptor Complexes in Mediating Drug Effects
  • John Mastropaolo
  • Anthony L. Riley


Although not without controversy,1 animal models of human pathology have been used to study a wide range of issues2-10 (Table I). The analogy from the animal model to the human condition can take a variety of forms and can provide different types of information. Ideally, such models would accurately simulate the human syndrome, which they are purported to represent in such a way that they fulfill the requisite characteristics for animal models proposed by Robbins and Sahakian.11 Briefly, they suggest that animal models should (1) mimic the behavioral features of the disorder, (2) have a similar etiology, and (3) show recovery in behavioral features in response to treatments that alleviate symptoms in humans. Although such criteria may represent the exemplar of an animal model, many useful models may not meet each of these requirements. For example, Kometsky12 described a continuum of levels at which animal models might represent a human problem of interest. In his analysis, models are seen as homologous if there is a correspondence in the etiology of the disease and the model. At another level, models may be only isomorphic. That is, while there are similarities between the model and the human state, the cause of the condition created for the model may be different from the cause in humans. Finally, the model may not have a direct resemblance to the disease but may be a nonhomologous, nonisomorphic representation that has some predictive value concerning some aspect of the disease.


Discriminative Stimulus Conditioned Taste Aversion Drug Discrimination Saccharin Solution Training Dose 
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.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Mastropaolo
    • 1
  • Anthony L. Riley
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychiatry ServiceVeterans Administration Medical CenterWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Psychology DepartmentThe American UniversityWashingtonUSA

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