Effects of haloperidol on the multitrial partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE): evidence for neuroleptic drug action on nonreinforcement but not on reinforcement

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Abstract

Two experiments investigated the effects of haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg) on the partial reinforcement extinction effect (PREE). In experiment 1 two groups of rats were trained to run in a straight alley using six trials/day with an intertrial interval (ITI) of 5-8 min. The continuously reinforced (CRF) group received food reward on every trial. The partially reinforced (PRF) group was rewarded on a quasi-random 50% schedule. All animals were then tested in extinction. Haloperidol was administered in a 2 × 2 design, i.e., drug-no drug in acquisition and drug-no drug in extinction. In experiment 2 two groups of rats were trained to press a lever in an operant chamber using a discrete trial procedure of ten trials/day with an ITI of 60 s. The CRF group was rewarded on each trial and the PRF group was rewarded on a quasi-random 50% schedule. Haloperidol was administered for 22 days prior to the start of the PREE procedure as well as throughout acquisition and extinction. The PREE, i.e., increased resistance to extinction of PRF as compared to CRF animals, was obtained in both experiments in all drug conditions. In both experiments haloperidol increased the rate of extinction. Experiment 1 revealed that this effect was entirely dur to the administration of the drug in extinction, independently of the drug condition in acquisition. In contrast to previous results in a one trial/day procedure, the administration of haloperidol to CRF animals did not increase resistance to extinction, failing to support the notion that neuroleptics attenuate the rewarding properties of reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1991

Keywords

  • Continuous reinforcement
  • Extinction
  • Haloperidol
  • Instrumental learning
  • Partial reinforcement extinction effect
  • Rat

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