Research with animals and humans suggests that impulsivity is both a determinant and a consequence of drug abuse. In the present study, rats screened for high (HiI) or low (LoI) impulsivity using a delay-discounting task were compared on a Go/No-go procedure for intravenous cocaine (0.4 mg/kg) or saccharin pellets (0.1%). An additional aim was to examine the effects of previous cocaine exposure on impulsive choice. Thus, following Go/No-go testing, HiI and LoI rats were reevaluated on delay discounting. The results indicated that HiI and LoI rats did not differ in Go (reinforced) responses or in the number of reinforcements earned under the cocaine or saccharin conditions. However, LoI rats made significantly more No-go (nonreinforced) responses under the cocaine versus the saccharin condition. After the Go/No-go procedure, cocaine-exposed LoI rats were more impulsive on the delay-discounting task for food, compared to LoI rats that were naive to cocaine; however, HiI rats did not differ on this measure. These results indicate that the effects of cocaine on measures of impulsivity may be determined by a preexisting level of impulsive behavior.
- Delay discounting