Ethanol-paired conditioned stimulus effects on concurrent reinforced responding for ethanol and food

Hanana AlTfaili, Brett C. Ginsburg, R. J. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The influence of Pavlovian Conditioned Stimuli (CS) on ethanol self-administration and choice between ethanol and an alternative are potentially important. Ethanol-paired CS might increase ethanol self-administration, especially when it has been reduced during recovery, though the selectivity of these increases has been questioned. To date, one study examined the effects of an ethanol-paired CS on ethanol choice and found that the CS increased ethanol-responding more than food-responding when both were in extinction. However, it remains unclear whether ethanol-paired CS increase ethanol-choice that is not in extinction. Here, we examine the effects of an ethanol-paired CS on ethanol-choice when both food- and ethanol-responding are reinforced. Sixteen adult male Lewis rats were trained on a concurrent schedule to respond for ethanol on one lever and for food on the other lever. Ethanol was available under an FR 5 schedule, and food was available under an FR schedule that was adjusted for each rat to earn an equal number of food and ethanol deliveries. Then, 2-min light presentations were paired with an RT 25-sec schedule of ethanol delivery for 10 sessions in the absence of both levers. After this, subjects were placed back on the concurrent schedule for one session, then five sessions with the CS being present or absent on each trial of the concurrent schedule occurred. Rats learned to respond on one lever for ethanol and on the other for food and earned similar numbers of ethanol and food deliveries. During Pavlovian Conditioning, the number of head entries into the head-entry detector was higher in the presence of the CS than in its absence. In the test sessions, rats made more ethanol responses in the presence of the CS than in its absence. However, this effect was small and did not increase the amount of ethanol earned. Thus, ethanol-paired CS could increase ethanol-responding under a choice procedure but did not increase ethanol consumption meaningfully under the studied conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Alcohol
  • Conditioned stimulus
  • Craving
  • Discriminative stimulus
  • Operant responding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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