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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Poster Session #520
BPN Monday Poster Session: Even-Numbered Posters
Monday, May 30, 2022
2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Exhibit Level; Exhibit Hall A
Chair: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
2. Effects of Acute and Chronic Nicotine Administration on Choice of Probabilistic Outcomes
Area: BPN; Domain: Basic Research
KATYA NOLDER (West Virginia University), Karen G. Anderson (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Nathan Blenkush (Judge Rotenberg Educational Center)
Abstract: Risky choice can be operationally defined as the choice for a larger, uncertain reinforcer over a smaller, certain reinforcer. Research suggests smokers engage in more risky or maladaptive decisions when compared to nonsmokers. The relation between nicotine and risky choice could benefit from further investigation, since nicotine is the active substance of tobacco products that maintains tobacco addiction. Acute nicotine administration has been shown to alter risky choice; however, since the everyday smoker uses nicotine repeatedly, more research on chronic administration is warranted and would allow for assessment of tolerance or sensitization of these effects. The present study investigated effects of acute and chronic nicotine administration on risky decision-making in male Sprague-Dawley rats using a probability-discounting procedure. The probability-discounting procedure included discrete-trial choices between a small, certain reinforcer and a larger, uncertain reinforcer. The probability of larger-reinforcer delivery systematically decreased across blocks within each session. Acute nicotine administration dose-dependently increased risky choice, and tolerance to nicotine’s effects on larger-reinforcer choice was observed after repeated 1.0 mg/kg nicotine administration. Nicotine may decrease sensitivity to reinforcer magnitude and probabilities of delivery, but tolerance to these effects may develop after chronic exposure, so these results may have implications for new smokers.



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