Nicotine induces a conditioned place preference in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)

B.L. Bolin, Heather L. Cornett, Amanda F. Barnes, Karin E. Gill, Chana K. Akins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Visual stimuli may play an important role in the development and maintenance of addiction in humans. Research with a visually-oriented animal model such as Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) may provide insight into how visual cues contribute to the addiction process. The aim of the current study was to investigate the rewarding properties of nicotine in male Japanese quail using a biased conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure. Adult male quail (N=30) were allowed to freely explore the entire CPP apparatus during a place preference pre-test and time spent in each chamber was measured. During nicotine conditioning sessions, quail were administered nicotine (0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 mg/kg) or saline and were then confined to their initially least preferred chamber. On alternating days, all quail received saline and were confined to their initially preferred chamber. Locomotor activity was assessed in both chambers. The conditioning chambers had yellow or green walls to enhance the visual salience of each context. Following 8 conditioning sessions (4 nicotine; 4 saline), quail were allowed to explore the entire apparatus during a CPP post-test and time spent in each chamber was measured. The results indicated that quail treated with 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg nicotine significantly increased the amount of time they spent in the nicotine-paired chamber compared to saline controls, suggesting that nicotine produced a CPP. Furthermore, quail treated with 0.5 mg/kg nicotine showed a significant increase in locomotor activity with repeated treatments. The current findings suggest that nicotine may have a rewarding effect in quail and may tentatively suggest that the neuropharmacological mechanisms that mediate CPP for nicotine are conserved in birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-367
Number of pages4
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Jaime Miller, Logan Edwards, and Luke Cornett for their assistance with data collection. Financial support for this research was provided by NIDA grant DA022451 awarded to CKA. Writing was supported by NIDA training grant DA007304 awarded to BLB (Craig R. Rush, PI). The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


  • Avian
  • CPP
  • Drug reward
  • Nicotine
  • Visual cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Nicotine induces a conditioned place preference in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this