The many facets of the locomotor response to a novel environment test: theoretical comment on Mitchell, Cunningham, and Mark (2005).

Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science/The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.
Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.25). 09/2005; 119(4):1144-51. DOI: 10.1037/0735-7044.119.4.1144
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Several animal studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between locomotor activity in response to a novel environment and acquisition of drug self-administration behavior. This finding led to the assumption that animals with heightened reactivity to novel environments are more sensitive to the rewarding effects of drugs compared with animals with reduced reactivity. But are these individuals really more responsive to drugs, or could they have enhanced sensitivity to rewards in general or even simply be better learners? In the previous issue of this journal, J. M. Mitchell, C. L. Cunningham, and G. P. Mark (2005), investigated these important matters. They reported that the locomotor response to a novel environment does not predict responding for cocaine but reflects overall differences in the ability to learn operant tasks. ((c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved).

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