It is difficult to translate results from animal research on addiction to an understanding of the behavior of human drug users. Despite decades of basic research on neurobiological mechanisms of drug addiction, treatment options remain largely unchanged. A potential reason for this is that mechanistic studies using rodent models do not incorporate a critical facet of human addiction: volitional choices between drug use and non-drug social rewards (e.g., employment and family). Recently, we developed an operant model in which rats press a lever for rewarding social interaction with a peer and then choose between an addictive drug (heroin or methamphetamine) and social interaction. Using this model, we showed that rewarding social interaction suppresses drug self-administration, relapse to drug seeking, and brain responses to drug-associated cues. Here, we describe a protocol for operant social interaction using a discrete-trial choice between drugs and social interaction that causes voluntary abstinence from the drug and tests for incubation of drug craving (the time-dependent increase in drug seeking during abstinence). This protocol is flexible but generally requires 8-9 weeks for completion. We also provide a detailed description of the technical requirements and procedures for building the social self-administration and choice apparatus. Our protocol provides a reliable way to study the role of operant social reward in addiction and addiction vulnerability in the context of choices. We propose that this protocol can be used to study brain mechanisms of operant social reward and potentially impairments in social reward in animal models of psychiatric disorders and pain.
Accuracy of Functional Movement Screen Deep Squat Scoring and the Influence of Optimized Scoring Criteria: A 3-Dimensional Kinematic Approach.
February 13, 2020
March 12, 2020
Clinical and Procedural Characteristics Predicting Need for Chronotropic Support and Permanent Pacing Post-Heart Transplantation.
March 2, 2020
- ACC 2020The American College of Cardiology decided to cancel ACC.20/WCC due to COVID-19, which was scheduled to take place March 28-30 in Chicago. However, ACC.20/WCC Virtual Meeting continues to release cutting edge science and practice changing updates for cardiovascular professionals on demand and free through June 2020.
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