Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Paper Session #23
International Paper Session - Behavioural Pharmacology Research on Cocaine and MDMA
Monday, August 13, 2007
2:00 PM–2:50 PM
L2 Room 3
Area: BPH
Chair: Marc N. Branch (University of Florida)
The Effect of Chronic and Acute Treatments of MDMA (Ecstasy) Administration on Acquisition of the Radial Arm Maze in Rats.
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
CHARLOTTE JANE KAY (Victoria University of Wellington), David N. Harper (Victoria University of Wellington), Maree J. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: Previous studies concerning MDMA's effects on learning using animal subjects have produced mixed results. In previous research we found that rats treated with chronic doses of MDMA were able to learn the radial-arm maze paradigm, albeit significantly more slowly than saline controls. We conducted a series of studies that combined acute and chronic regimes of MDMA in order to examine the effects on learning and drug tolerance. Seven Sprague-Dawley rats were pre-treated with neurotoxic doses (4x10mg/kg) of MDMA and their ability to acquire the radial arm maze task was compared against two control groups. Once a week both the neurotoxic rats as well as a group of non-pretreated control rats were given acute doses of MDMA (4.0 mg/kg). A second control group only received injections of saline once a week. It was expected that continued exposure to acute MDMA administration would further impair the chronic MDMA treated rats ability to acquire the task. We also expected to find evidence of drug tolerance in that the non-pretreated control group who received acute doses of MDMA would be more impaired relative to the chronic treated group. To date our data support these predictions.
Comparison of the Oral and Intravenous Routes in the Self-Administration of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’) in Rats.
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
LINCOLN S. HELY (Victoria University of Wellington), Maree J. Hunt (Victoria University of Wellington), Susan Schenk (Victoria University of Wellington), David N. Harper (Victoria University of Wellington)
Abstract: Recent studies have produced reliable self-administration of the so-called “party drug” 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, or ecstasy) in rats. This finding suggests that MDMA may share many of the addictive properties common to other prominent CNS stimulants (such as cocaine and amphetamine). The well known abuse potential of the CNS stimulants suggests that MDMA may also prove to be addictive, though anecdotally the drug is not considered to be addictive. Experimental evidence for the addictive properties of MDMA can be derived from experimental manipulations of the self-administration procedure. In humans MDMA is primarily consumed in one or more oral doses, however animal studies have relied upon the IV route of administration in the study of its effects. This research examined the use of the oral route of administration in rats, and compares the effectiveness of the oral route with that of the IV route. A Behavioral Economic analysis was utilized as a way to quantify the differences in reinforcing efficacy of MDMA as a function of the route of administration, but also as a comparison point for studying the addictive potential of MDMA in comparison to other drugs of abuse.



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