A Comparison of progressive ratio schedules versus behavioral economic measures: Effect of an alternative reinforcer on the reinforcing efficacy of phencyclidine

Joshua S. Rodefer, Marilyn E Carroll

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37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alternative non-drug reinforcers have been demonstrated to decrease drug-reinforced behavior by both decreasing relative reinforcing efficacy and substituting for the drug reinforcer. The effect of saccharin on responding maintained by orally delivered phencyciidine (PCP) was examined in this study using concurrent progressive-ratio (PR) schedules of reinforcernent and a behavioral economic analysis of demand. Seven adult male rhesus monkeys self-administered PCP (0.06, 0.12, 0.25, 0.50 and 1.0 mg/ml) and either concurrent water or saccharin (0.03% wt/vol) from two drinking spouts under concurrent independent PR schedules. During daily sessions the response;requirements (lip contacts on automatic drinking spouts) increased across 15 levels, from 8 to 4096. Each successful ratio completion resulted in the availability of 40 liquid deliveries under an FR 1 schedule and a subsequent increment in the PR. Concentrations of PCP were presented in a non-systematic order and presentation of the concurrent liquid, saccharin or water, was counterbalanced across subjects. All behaviors maintained by PCP were significantly greater than those maintained by water. Replacement of water with saccharin served to significantly decrease PCP-maintained responding and break points (BP) across the range of PCP concentrations; however, saccharin did not significantly decrease deliveries of PCP. Saccharin maintained significantly greater responding, BPs and deliveries compared to either PCP or water, across all PCP concentrations. The use of BP as a measure of reinforcing efficacy suggests that saccharin decreased the relative reinforcing efficacy of PCP. Furthermore, behavioral economic analyses suggested that saccharin decreased maximal PCP-maintained responding (P(max)) in a similar fashion, suggesting that BP and P(max) may be analogous measures of reinforcing efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume132
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by NIDA Grant R01 DA07716

Keywords

  • Alternative reinforcer
  • Behavioral economics
  • Break point
  • Drug self-administration
  • Drug-reinforced behavior
  • Phencyclidine
  • Progressive ratio
  • Reinforcing efficacy
  • Rhesus monkeys
  • Saccharin

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