Effects of prior saline-morphine discrimination by pigeons on three-way discrimination including two morphine doses

David V. Gauvin, Alice M. Young

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17 Scopus citations


The discriminative stimulus properties of morphine sulfate (MS) and their alteration by naltrexone (NTX) and d-amphetamine (AMP) challenges were examined in a quantitative dose 1, dose 2, and saline (SAL) drug discrimination task utilizing 1.8 mg/kg MS, 10 mg/kg MS, and SAL as discriminative stimuli under a fixed-ratio 30 schedule of food-maintained behavior in two groups of White Carneaux pigeons. Group A (Gp A) (n=6) subjects (Ss) were initially experimentally-and drug-naive, whereas group B Ss (n=4) were originally trained in a two-choice MS versus SAL discrimination task, and had a long behavioral and drug history. Significant differences were found in (1) number of sessions to criterion (STC) (group B greater than group A); (2) group A Ss generalized both NTX and AMP to SAL, whereas group, B Ss generalized AMP to the low dose (1.8 mg/kg) MS stimulus; and (3) in drug interaction test sessions, the high dose MS stimulus (10 mg/kg) in group A was unmodified by a range of challenge AMP doses (0.32 to 3.2 mg/kg). In contrast, group B Ss exhibited a shift to the low dose or SAL-appropriate keys when the same high dose MS stimulus was challenged by moderate doses of AMP. Group A and group B were similar in their pattern and distribution of responses when tested with various doses of MS, and also when challenge tests of the high dose MS stimulus were made with NTX. Qualitative generalization tests with the opiate agonist methadone suggested that methadone was more potent than MS in producing the discriminative stimulus properties learned under the MS stimulus conditions. It is suggested that the three-choice dose 1, dose 2, SAL discrimination procedure is a viable model to test agonist and antagonist relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-230
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Amphetamine
  • Antagonism
  • Drug discrimination
  • Morphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Pigeons


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