Aversive Conditioning in the Rat: Effects of a Benzodiazepine and of an Opioid Agonist and Antagonist on Conditioned Hypoalgesia and Fear

R. F. Westbrook*, J. D. Greeley, C. P. Nabke, A. L. Swinbourne

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Hypoalgesia and fear co-occurred in rats trained on a heated floor and tested for their latencies to paw lick on that floor and to step down onto a nonheated floor. These responses were extinguished, suggesting a mediation by aversive conditioning processes. A benzodiazepine impaired the acquisition of aversive conditioning, but it did not attenuate the expression of conditioned hypoalgesia. The opioid agonist morphine also impaired acquisition across a range of drug doses and variations in hypoalgesic tolerance, whereas the opioid antagonist naloxone facilitated acquisition. The results are discussed in terms of the perceptual-defensive-recuperative (Fanselow, 1986) and working memory (Grau, 1987) models of the mechanisms for the cooccurrence of conditioned hypoalgesia and fear.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-230
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
    Volume17
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 1991

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