Effects of d-amphetamine and ethanol alone and in combination on schedule-controlled responding of pigeons

Research paper by Jonathan L. Katz, James E. Barrett

Indexed on: 01 Jan '79Published on: 01 Jan '79Published in: Psychopharmacology


Key pecking by pigeons was maintained under either a 5-min fixed-interval or a 30-response fixed-ratio schedule of food delivery. d-Amphetamine (0.1–1.0 mg/kg) either increased or did not affect overall rates of responding under the fixed-interval schedule; the lowest dose of ethanol (0.5 g/kg) did not affect or slightly decreased response rates, whereas higher doses (1.0–2.0 g/kg) substantially decreased rates. Combinations of low noneffective ethanol doses with most doses of d-amphetamine increased rates of responding under the fixed-interval schedule above those obtained with d-amphetamine alone; decreases produced by the higher doses of ethanol were attenuated by most doses of d-amphetamine. Doses of d-amphetamine (0.1–1.0 mg/kg) and ethanol (0.5–1.5 g/kg) alone generally had no effect on responding maintained under the fixed-ratio schedule; higher doses of these drugs decreased responding. The effects of dose combinations other than the highest ones generally differed little from those obtained with ethanol alone; the effects of high doses of each drug were antagonized by low to moderate doses of the other. Combinations of ethanol with d-amphetamine can result in higher rates of responding than are obtained with either drug alone. Further, effects of the drugs alone and in combination depend on the schedule under which behavior is maintained.