Measuring ethanol-seeking behavior: The effect of using repeated extinction trials

Herman H. Samson, Ann Chappell, Cristine Czachowski, Amanda Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


The development of a reliable measure of the level of ethanol-seeking behavior in an animal model is important to understanding the concept of craving. However, most existing models do not allow for the separation of the behavior associated with obtaining ethanol from that involved in consumption of ethanol. In this study, we determined the ability of repeated, single-session extinction tests in an appetitive and consummatory procedure of ethanol self-administration to assess the level of seeking behavior. The findings indicated that there were no major effects of previous extinction trials on later trials, when there were at least four reinforced sessions between tests. During reinforced sessions, the rats were consuming an average of 0.80 g of ethanol per kilogram of body weight in less than 20 min from a sipper tube. In addition, the amount of extinction responding was found to be similar to a previous measure of the appetitive strength of ethanol by using a breakpoint procedure. This method of repeated extinction tests seems to be valuable for examining the effects of pharmacological treatments that might alter ethanol seeking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 17 2001


  • Alcohol
  • Appetitive behavior
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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