Reinforcement of Behavior by Cocaine Injections

  • S. R. Goldberg
  • R. T. Kelleher
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 21)


The intravenous injection of certain drugs, such as psychomotor stimulants, can function as a reinforcer to engender and maintain behavior in rats and monkeys. Such behavior has served as a laboratory counterpart to human drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. However, the levels of behavior maintained by drug injections in experimental animals are usually lower than would be expected from observations of the extended sequences of behavior involved in the procurement, preparation, and administration of a drug by humans. The low levels of behavior may arise from the common practice of studying experimental animals under conditions in which every response or every few responses results in a drug injection during long experimental sessions lasting 3 to 24 hours. Under these conditions, mean response rates have been less than 0.1 response per second; and response rates decrease further as the dose per injection is increased above some level (e.g., Pickens and Thompson, 1968; Goldberg, Hoffmeister, Schlichting and Wuttke, 1971; Wilson, Hitomi and Schuster, 1971).


Rhesus Monkey Squirrel Monkey Multiple Schedule Cocaine Intake Cocaine Injection 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Goldberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. T. Kelleher
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Psychobiology, Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.New England Regional Primate Research CenterSouthboroughUSA

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