Cocaine induces state-dependent learning of sexual conditioning in male Japanese quail

Karin E. Gill, Beth Ann Rice, Chana K. Akins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


State dependent learning effects have been widely studied in a variety of drugs of abuse. However, they have yet to be studied in relation to sexual motivation. The current study investigated state-dependent learning effects of cocaine in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) using a sexual conditioning paradigm. Cocaine-induced state-dependent learning effects were investigated using a 2. ×. 2 factorial design with training state as one factor and test state as the other factor. During a 14-day training phase, male quail were injected once daily with 10. mg/kg cocaine or saline and then placed in a test chamber after 15. min. In the test chamber, sexual conditioning trials consisted of presentation of a light conditioned stimulus (CS) followed by sexual reinforcement. During the state dependent test, half of the birds received a shift in drug state from training to testing (Coc. →. Sal or Sal. →. Coc) while the other half remained in the same drug state (Coc. →. Coc or Sal. →. Sal). Results showed that male quail that were trained and tested in the same state (Coc. →. Coc or Sal. →. Sal) showed greater sexual conditioning than male quail that were trained and tested in different states (Sal. →. Coc) except when cocaine was administered chronically prior to the test (Coc. →. Sal). For the latter condition, sexual conditioning persisted from cocaine training to the saline test. The findings suggest that state dependent effects may alter sexual motivation and that repeated exposure to cocaine during sexual activity may increase sexual motivation which, in turn, may lead to high risk sexual activities. An alternative explanation for the findings is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • Cocaine
  • Japanese quail
  • Pavlovian conditioning
  • Sexual behavior
  • State-dependent learning
  • State-dependent memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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