Shelly D. Dickinson

Amherst College, Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (6)19.37 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Self-administration studies have suggested that dopamine (DA) is important for the reinforcing effects of ethanol. However, ethanol place conditioning studies have less consistently demonstrated a role for DA in conditioned place preference. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether blockade of D(1), D(2) or D(3) DA receptors would impact the expression of the conditioned place preference induced by ethanol in DBA/2J mice. Mice underwent an unbiased place conditioning procedure with 2 g/kg ethanol. Prior to the preference test, mice were injected i.p. with SCH23390 (0, 0.015 or 0.03 mg/kg), raclopride (0, 0.3 or 0.6 mg/kg) or U99194A (0, 10 or 20 mg/kg). Ethanol produced a significant conditioned place preference that was not affected by any of the dopamine antagonists tested. Each of the antagonists decreased locomotor activity, though U99194A was minimally effective. These findings suggest that the conditioned reinforcing effects of ethanol in DBA/2J mice as assessed by place conditioning are mediated by non-dopaminergic mechanisms.
    Psychopharmacology 02/2003; 165(3):238-44. DOI:10.1007/s00213-002-1270-4 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In previous comparisons with C57BL/6J mice, DBA/2J mice have been characterized as "hyporesponsive" to cocaine's rewarding effect in the conditioned place-preference paradigm. This finding contrasts with other studies showing greater sensitivity of DBA/2J mice to the rewarding effects of ethanol and morphine in the place conditioning task. The purpose of the present study was to examine cocaine- induced place conditioning in both strains using apparatus and procedures similar to those used previously to assess ethanol and morphine preference conditioning. Mice from both strains were exposed to an unbiased place-conditioning procedure using 1, 10, or 30 mg/kg cocaine. Conditioning trial duration was 15, 30, or 60 min. In general, C57BL/6J mice displayed a significant conditioned place preference that was relatively unaffected by cocaine dose or trial duration. In contrast, DBA/2J mice showed no place conditioning at the shortest trial duration, but an increasing level of preference as trial duration increased. At the longest trial duration, both strains showed similar levels of place preference. Genetic differences in sensitivity to cocaine's rewarding effect depend critically on temporal parameters of the place-conditioning procedure. One possible interpretation of these findings is that short trial durations produce conditioned activity responses that interfere more with expression of conditioned place preference in DBA/2J mice than in C57BL/6J mice. More generally, these findings underscore the need for caution when drawing conclusions about genetic differences in place conditioning, especially when using this paradigm to evaluate the effects of gene knockouts or insertions on drug reward.
    Psychopharmacology 10/1999; 146(1):73-80. DOI:10.1007/s002130051090 · 3.88 Impact Factor
  • Shelly D. Dickinson · Christopher L. Cunningham
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies with rats exposed to altered ambient temperature (Ta) or with mice selectively bred for their thermal response to ethanol have shown that a reduced hypothermic response is correlated with decreased place aversion and greater place preference, respectively. The present experiment was designed to test whether alterations in Ta would alter ethanol's ability to produce conditioned place preference in genetically heterogeneous mice. Three groups of mice underwent a differential conditioning procedure that paired one distinctive floor texture with ethanol (2.25 g/kg, i.p.) and a different floor texture with saline. During conditioning, each group was exposed to a different Ta: cold (10 degrees C), normal (21 degrees C), or warm (34 degrees C). Each group was further divided and subgroups were tested for preference at either the conditioning temperature or a different temperature. Consistent with previous findings, mice conditioned and tested at normal Ta developed a conditioned preference for the ethanol-paired floor. In contrast, mice exposed to a warm or cold Ta during conditioning or testing failed to show place conditioning. Although exposure to either warm or cold Ta interfered with place conditioning, only the warm Ta had an effect on hypothermia. These findings suggest that altered Ta produced stimuli that may have interfered with the association between floor cues and ethanol during conditioning or interfered with expression of this association during testing.
    Alcohol 08/1998; 16(1):13-8. DOI:10.1016/S0741-8329(97)00168-7 · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • Christopher L. Cunningham · Shelly D. Dickinson · Dobrina M. Okorn
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    ABSTRACT: Mice (DBA/2J) received a Pavlovian procedure in which a distinctive floor stimulus was paired 4 times with ethanol (2 g/kg). A different floor stimulus was paired with saline. Naloxone (0.0, 1.5, or 10.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) given before each ethanol trial did not interfere with acquisition of conditioned preference, although naloxone alone produced conditioned aversion. When naloxone (0.0, 0.15, 1.5, 3.0, or 10.0 mg/kg) was given for the first time during testing, mice showed conditioned preference during the first 10 min. However, preference subsequently decreased dose-dependently over time. Control studies eliminated alternative interpretations based on pharmacokinetics or presence of an aversive state. The overall pattern of results suggests that naloxone facilitated extinction of conditioned place preference and supports the hypothesis that ethanol-induced conditioned reinforcement is mediated by the endogenous opioid system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 10/1995; 3(4):330-343. DOI:10.1037/1064-1297.3.4.330 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recent experiment (Risinger et al., Psychopharmacology, 107 (1992) 453-456) has shown that haloperidol does not prevent acquisition of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference, suggesting that dopaminergic mechanisms do not mediate the primary rewarding properties of ethanol. The present experiment examined whether haloperidol would prevent the expression of conditioned reward to ethanol-paired stimuli using the place conditioning paradigm. DBA/2J mice received four pairings of a tactile stimulus with ethanol (2 g/kg, IP). A different stimulus was paired with saline. Before preference testing, different groups received one of three doses of haloperidol (0, 0.05 or 0.1 mg/kg); ethanol was not given. Haloperidol produced a dose-dependent decrease in locomotor activity, but did not affect conditioned place preference. These results suggest that expression of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference is mediated by non-dopaminergic mechanisms.
    Behavioural Brain Research 10/1992; 50(1-2):1-5. DOI:10.1016/S0166-4328(05)80282-7 · 3.03 Impact Factor
  • Fred O. Risinger · Shelly D. Dickinson · Christopher L. Cunningham
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    ABSTRACT: This experiment examined the impact of a dopamine receptor blocker on ethanol's rewarding effect in a place conditioning paradigm. DBA/2J mice received four pairings of a tactile stimulus with ethanol (2 g/kg, IP), haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, IP)+ethanol, or haloperidol alone. A different stimulus was paired with saline. Ethanol produced increases in locomotor activity that were reduced by haloperidol. However, conditioned preference for the ethanol-paired stimulus was not affected by haloperidol. Haloperidol alone decreased locomotor activity during conditioning and produced a place aversion. These results indicate a dissociation of ethanol's activating and rewarding effects. Moreover, they suggest that ethanol's ability to induce conditioned place preference is mediated by nondopaminergic mechanisms.
    Psychopharmacology 02/1992; 107(2-3):453-6. DOI:10.1007/BF02245175 · 3.88 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

259 Citations
19.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2003
    • Amherst College
      • Department of Psychology
      Amherst Center, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1992–1999
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      • Department of Behavioral Neuroscience
      Portland, OR, United States