cocaine self-administration and yoking

Christopher papillae at
Thu Aug 28 08:52:32 EST 2003

I read about the following study from and it
really confused me, could anyone suggest an explanation for this
effect ?:

O I recently read about a fascinating study concerning administration
of cocaine in rats. They had two
O isolated experimental chambers, one rat in each, each animal
supplied with an intravenous line through
O which the drug could be injected. The guy in the top chamber
received a dose every time he pushed a lever
O in his experimental chamber (FR1 schedule) whereas the guy in the
bottom chamber was yoked to the one on
O top - he received a dose whenever the guy on top did completely
independent of his own actions. It turned
O out that with this setup, the guy on top was happily pushing the
lever and the world seemed perfect
O whereas the yoked rat was in a miserable situation unable to cope
with this uncontrollable schedule
O (mutilating etc). And when they did exactly the same experiment with
delivery of sucrose pellets instead
O of cocaine both rats were fine. Absolutely mind-blowing !!! 

- Christopher

P.S. Does it apply to humans ?

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