The effects of some putative antidepressant agents on the schedule-controlled behavior of the pigeon

R. J. Lamb, D. E. McMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Numerous "second-generation" antidepressants with pharmacological profiles and chemical structures different from those of the tricyclic antidepressants have recently been developed. We examined the actions of four of these compounds (mianserin, maprotiline, trazodone and fluvoxamine) on the responding of pigeons under two different multiple (mult) schedules of grain presentation (a mult fixed-interval (FI) 600-s fixed-ratio (FR) 30-response and a mult FI 200-s FI 200-s in which responding in one component was punished by intermittent presentation of a brief electric shock). The rate of FI 600-s responding was greatly increased by several doses of maprotiline and mianserin, which either did not affect or produced only small increases in the rate of FR 30 responding. Fluvoxamine and trazodone did not produce similar differential effects. Relatively low doses of maprotiline, mianserin and trazodone decreased the FI quarter-lifes. Fluvoxamine only decreased the FI quarter-life at a dose that largely eliminated responding. Mianserin produced proportionally greater increases in the rate of punished FI 200-s responding than in the rate of unpunished FI 200-s responding. Selective effects on punished responding were not seen with maprotiline, fluvoxamine and trazodone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Fluvoxamine
  • Maprotiline
  • Mianserin
  • Pigeons
  • Punishment
  • Schedule-controlled behavior
  • Trazodone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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