Self-administration test

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Self administration is a classical model of human drug-taking behavior and consists in establishing in rodents an operant conditioning of an instrumental response (nose-poke, lever pressure) to obtain a reward, according to a fix or progressive ratio.

Self administration is a standard paradigm for studying the acute rewarding properties of drugs, the development of habitual drug-seeking behaviors, and ultimately, addiction. Moreover, this method can be used to assess the abuse potential of drugs.

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Reasons for choosing this test

  • Drug self-administered by the animal itself
  • Involves associative learning and operant conditioning
  • Robust performance and specific responses
  • Used for both rats and mice

Reasons for not choosing this test

  • Long and laborious procedure
  • Requires animal surgery
  • Changes in behavioral output can be brought by many cognitive and non-cognitive factors, such as alteration of learning, locomotor activity, vision...
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