Evidence for perceptual masking of the discriminative morphine stimulus

David V. Gauvin, Alice M. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Morphine-amphetamine and morphine-naltrexone interactions were examined in three groups of White Carneaux pigeons (n=3), which were trained in a twochoice drug discrimination procedure under a FR-30 schedule of food reinforcement using 3.2 mg/kg morphine and saline as discriminative stimuli. Once stimulus control was acquired by these initial training stimuli, the training doses of morphine were gradually changed to 1.0 mg/kg for group A and to 10 mg/kg for group C. The three groups differed in the minimum dose required for stimulus control and the drugs to which the training stimulus generalized. Stimulus generalization to amphetamine was inversely related to training dose. Amphetamine potentiated the discriminative stimulus properties of morphine. Naltrexone blocked the discriminative stimulus properties of morphine to varying degrees, which appeared to be limited by the training dose and the rate-suppressing effects of naltrexone when administered alone. Challenging the morphine stimulus with amphetamine resulted in a qualitatively similar blockade. This blockade was a direct function of the morphine training dose. It is argued that MS-AMP interactions result in perceptual masking of the MS stimulus, which can be differentiated from pharmacological antagonism by NTX. Two other challenge drugs, ketamine, and sodium pentobarbital, did not alter stimulus control by morphine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Amphetamine
  • Drug discrimination
  • Masking
  • Naltrexone


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