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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #315
Behavioral Pharmacology of Prescription Drugs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Sunday, May 24, 2020
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M2, Marquis Ballroom 5
Area: BPN/EAB; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

All psychoactive drugs have multiple effects. They are prescribed in the hopes of benefits such as pain relief, reduction of problem behavior or enhancement of learning and memory. However, in addition to potential benefits, these same drugs may also produce a variety of less desirable effects. In this symposium, three different behavior analytic baselines are used to assess both positive and negative effects of a range of widely-prescribed drugs. Soto will present data on the effects of antipsychotic drugs on progressive-ratio responding and body weight in mice. Galizio will show impairment (ketamine) and enhancement (methylphenidate, memantine) or remembering in novel incrementing matching- and non-matching to-samples tasks in rats. Finally, Pitts focuses on the effects of prescription opiate drugs and sensitivity to reinforcer magnitude in rats. Overall, this symposium will illustrate the value of behavior analytic techniques in the assessment of a range of drug effects of relevance to contemporary prescription practices.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): antipsychotics, opiates, side effects

Long-Term Behavioral and Metabolic Effects of Early-Life Second-Generation Antipsychotic Exposure in Mice

(Basic Research)
PAUL L. SOTO (Louisiana State University)

Second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are increasingly prescribed in children and adolescents. SGA medication use is associated with adverse metabolic changes and weight gain, which may predispose individuals to adverse outcomes in adulthood. Studies in rodents have demonstrated that early-life exposure to SGA medications can alter brain structure and function in adulthood. The current study is evaluating the long-term behavioral and metabolic effects of early-life SGA exposure in C57BL6/J mice. In one experiment, female C57BL6/J mice orally self-administered plain (vehicle) or risperidone-adulterated cookie dough from postnatal day (PND) 37-66. Mice treated with risperidone gained more weight during the treatment period. The difference in weights between the groups diminished with time following the treatment but was never fully eliminated. Following initial training to nose-poke for access to a 15% sucrose solution, mice were exposed to a progressive ratio schedule of sucrose reinforcement. Risperidone-treated mice completed more ratios than vehicle-treated mice. On PND 196, mice were switched from rodent chow to a high-fat diet. Mice in the risperidone group gained weight more rapidly and to a greater extent than mice in the vehicle group. In an ongoing experiment, young female mice were treated with olanzapine and metabolic and behavioral assessments are underway. Initial results indicate a long-term increased reinforcing effectiveness of sucrose and susceptibility to diet-induced weight gain. Together these experiments indicate that early-life SGA medication exposure can produce long-lasting behavioral and metabolic changes.

Drug Effects in an Automated Version of the Rodent Odor Span Task
(Basic Research)
MARK GALIZIO (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Thomas Wagner (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Genevieve Guidone (UNCW), Calista Holt (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jonathan David Shaw (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katherine Ely Bruce (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: The rodent odor span task is widely used to study the effects of drugs and other variables on remembering. The task is generally conducted manually in a large arena and there is considerable variability in experimental protocols across laboratories. The present study sought to standardize the procedure using an automated olfactometer apparatus. 20 rats were trained on both incrementing non-matching-to-sample and matching-to-sample variations of the task (10 matching, 10 non-matching) with a varying number of stimuli to remember. When stable levels of accuracy were reached, the effects of NMDA antagonists, (dizocilpine, ketamine and memantine) and an ADHD drug (methylphenidate) were determined. Ketamine selectively impaired accuracy of responding, but some evidence for enhancement was observed for memantine and methylphenidate—particularly as the number of stimuli to remember grew larger. These results suggest that the automated incrementing non-matching- matching-to-sample tasks may be a valuable new technique for behavioral pharmacology.
Oxycodone and Sensitivity to Reinforcement Magnitude: Implications for Opioid Effects on Impulsive and Risky Choice
(Basic Research)
RAYMOND C. PITTS (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Katelyn Hunt (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Justin T Van Heukelom (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Thomas Wagner (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Jeremy Langford (University of North Carolina Wilmington), Christine E. Hughes (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Abstract: Opioid abuse is associated with impulsive and risky behavior. Most interpretations of drug effects on impulsive and risky choice are in terms of effects on delay and probability discounting. The role of reinforcement magnitude in these effects largely has been ignored. This is unfortunate given that reinforcement magnitude plays an important role in both impulsive-choice and risky-choice procedures; impulsive-choice procedures involve tradeoffs between reinforcement magnitude and reinforcement delay and risky-choice procedures involve tradeoffs between reinforcement magnitude and reinforcement probability. The present study examined effects of the prescription opioid oxycodone on sensitivity to reinforcement magnitude. Rats responded under an concurrent-chains procedure in which the reinforcement magnitude associated with the terminal links changed within each session, across blocks of choice cycles. Under baseline conditions, choice was sensitive to the within-session changes in reinforcement magnitude. Acute administration of oxycodone (0.1-1.0 mg/kg) typically decreased sensitivity to reinforcement magnitude; at low to intermediate doses, this effect was selective. This finding has important implications for understanding drug effects on impulsive and risky choice. All else being equal, a decrease insensitivity to reinforcement magnitude would be expected to increase impulsive choice, but decrease risky choice.



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