Effect of schedule of reinforcement on cue-elicited reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior

Jazmin I. Acosta, Kenneth J. Thiel, Federico Sanabria, Jenny R. Browning, Janet Neisewander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Cocaine-associated cues can elicit incentive motivational effects that drive cocaine-seeking behavior and contribute to relapse. The extinction/reinstatement model is commonly used to measure these effects in animals. This study examined the influence of training and testing schedules of reinforcement on cue-elicited reinstatement. Lever presses during training resulted in cues and cocaine (0.75 mg/kg/IV) on either continuous or partial reinforcement schedules [fixed ratio (FR) 1 or 11, variable ratio (VR) 5 or 11]. Animals then underwent extinction training, followed by a test for cue-elicited reinstatement of extinguished cocaine-seeking behavior by response-contingent cue presentations on either a continuous (FR 1) or a partial reinforcement schedule (FR 11). Partial reinforcement during training resulted in higher response rates during cue-elicited reinstatement relative to continuous reinforcement. In contrast, delivery of cues on a continuous reinforcement schedule during testing yielded higher response rates relative to delivery on a partial reinforcement schedule. Finally, the shift from a partial to a continuous reinforcement schedule across training and testing phases did not alter response rates. These findings provide important information for choosing parameters for reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior that would allow the most sensitive method to detect changes in response rate after an experimental manipulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Conditioned reinforcement
  • Craving
  • Drug-seeking
  • Extinction
  • Partial reinforcement extinction effect
  • Rat
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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