Effects of Blockade of D1/D2 Dopamine Receptors on the Behavior of Rats with Different Levels of Impulsivity and Self-Control
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Rats classified on the basis of preliminary experiments into “self-controlled” and “impulsive” groups were given selective D1/D2 dopamine receptor blockers (SCH 23390 and raclopride respectively). The concepts of impulsivity and self-control relate to preferences in the choice between a more valuable but timedelayed reinforcement and a less valuable but immediate reinforcement. The effects of administration of these agents on the selection of reinforcements of different value were studied: the greater time-delayed reinforcement or the smaller immediate reinforcement. The numbers of refusals to make a choice and the latent periods of responses were also measured. D1/D2 receptor blockers had different actions in the different groups of animals. In rats of the self-controlled group, both blockers produced statistically significant (p < 0.05) increases in the number presses on the pedal delivering the less valuable but immediate reinforcement, providing evidence of an increase in impulsivity. In impulsive animals, the behavioral strategy underwent virtually no change. Administration of SCH 23390 increased the number of missed presses in both groups, this being particularly marked in self-controlled animals. Raclopride also increased the number of missed reactions in self-controlled rats, though this action was seen only one day after administration. Administration of the dopamine blockers used here led to increases in the latent periods of responses, but only in impulsive animals.
Keywordsimpulsivity self-control reinforcement selection dopamine receptors
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