Pavlovian discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica)

B. Levi Bolin, Destiny L. Singleton, Chana K. Akins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pavlovian drug discrimination (DD) procedures demonstrate that interoceptive drug stimuli may come to control behavior by informing the status of conditional relationships between stimuli and outcomes. This technique may provide insight into processes that contribute to drug-seeking, relapse, and other maladaptive behaviors associated with drug abuse. The purpose of the current research was to establish a model of Pavlovian DD in male Japanese quail. A Pavlovian conditioning procedure was used such that 3.0mg/kg methamphetamine served as a feature positive stimulus for brief periods of visual access to a female quail and approach behavior was measured. After acquisition training, generalization tests were conducted with cocaine, nicotine, and haloperidol under extinction conditions. SCH 23390 was used to investigate the involvement of the dopamine D1 receptor subtype in the methamphetamine discriminative stimulus. Results showed that cocaine fully substituted for methamphetamine but nicotine only partially substituted for methamphetamine in quail. Haloperidol dose-dependently decreased approach behavior. Pretreatment with SCH 23390 modestly attenuated the methamphetamine discrimination suggesting that the D1 receptor subtype may be involved in the discriminative stimulus effects of methamphetamine. The findings are discussed in relation to drug abuse and associated negative health consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-138
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Approach behavior
  • Discriminative stimulus
  • Drug discrimination
  • Feature positive
  • Japanese quail
  • Methamphetamine
  • Sexual motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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