Conditioned stereotypy: Behavioral specification of the UCS and pharmacological investigation of the neural change

Noboru Hiroi, Norman M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Previous work has shown that conditioned stereotypy can be produced by repeated treatments with d-amphetamine or apomorphine. We replicated this phenomenon and found that, as in previous reports, the amplitude of conditioned stereotypy was about one-third that of the unconditioned stereotypy. On the basis of the hypothesis that the UCS in this conditioning situation is a specific stimulation level of dopamine receptors expressed as a peak behavioral effect (UCR), rats were exposed to the experimental boxes for a brief interval during the peak behavioral effect of the drugs. This procedure produced an amplitude of conditioned stereotypy about two-thirds that of unconditioned stereotypy. The issue of the synaptic mechanism mediating conditioned stereotypy was addressed by examining the effect of pimozide on the behavior. A dose of pimozide that completely blocked apomorphine-unconditioned stereotypy also blocked apomorphine-conditioned stereotypy with no sign of motor impairment. d-Amphetamine-conditioned stereotypy was not completely blocked by a dose of pimozide that completely blocked d-amphetamine-unconditioned stereotypy. The implications of these findings for understanding the neural basis of conditioned stereotypy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Apomorphine
  • Conditioned stereotypy
  • Dopamine
  • Neural change
  • Pharmacological conditioning
  • Pimozide
  • Stereotypy
  • d-Amphetamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Biochemistry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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