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Individual Differences in the Attribution of Incentive Salience to a Pavlovian Alcohol Cue


Individual Differences in the Attribution of Incentive Salience to a Pavlovian Alcohol Cue

Villaruel, Franz R. and Chaudhri, Nadia ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4217-4044 (2016) Individual Differences in the Attribution of Incentive Salience to a Pavlovian Alcohol Cue. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10 (238). ISSN 1662-5153

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00238


Individual differences exist in the attribution of incentive salience to conditioned stimuli associated with food. Here, we investigated whether individual differences also manifested with a Pavlovian alcohol conditioned stimulus (CS). We compiled data from five experiments that used a Pavlovian autoshaping paradigm and tests of conditioned reinforcement. In all experiments, male, Long-Evans rats with unrestricted access to food and water were acclimated to 15% ethanol. Next, rats received Pavlovian autoshaping training, in which a 10 s presentation of a retractable lever served as the CS and 0.2 mL of 15% ethanol served as the unconditioned stimulus (US). Finally, rats underwent conditioned reinforcement tests in which nose-pokes to an active aperture led to brief presentations of the lever-CS, but nose-pokes to an inactive aperture had no consequence. Rats were categorized as sign-trackers, goal-trackers and intermediates based on a response bias score that reflected their tendencies to sign-track or goal-track at different times during training. We found that distinct groups of rats either consistently interacted with the lever-CS (“sign-trackers”) or routinely approached the port during the lever-CS (“goal-trackers”) across a majority of the training sessions. However, some individuals (“shifted sign-trackers”) with an early tendency to goal-track later shifted to comparable asymptotic levels of sign-tracking as the group identified as sign-trackers. The lever-CS functioned as a conditioned reinforcer for sign-trackers and shifted sign-trackers, but not for goal-trackers. These results provide evidence of robust individual differences in the extent to which a Pavlovian alcohol cue gains incentive salience and functions as a conditioned reinforcer.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Article
Authors:Villaruel, Franz R. and Chaudhri, Nadia
Journal or Publication:Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Date:26 December 2016
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Concordia Open Access Author Fund
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00238
Keywords:sign-tracking, goal-tracking, incentive salience, autoshaping, conditioned reinforcement, Pavlovian conditioning, alcohol, individual differences
ID Code:982641
Deposited On:21 Jun 2017 15:42
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:55


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