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Behavioral Paradigms to Model Substance Use Disorders in Animals

Sunday April 03, 2022

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Central Time (CT)

113 C


Chair :

Holly Moore
National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Drug Abuse

Michelle Doyle
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Although standard intravenous drug self-administration procedures remain the gold-standard for assessing the abuse potential of psychoactive drugs, substance use disorders (SUDs) are complex, multifaceted, and not fully recapitulated by any single animal model. Recently, novel behavioral paradigms have been developed to model specific aspects of SUD to better understand the neurobiology of individual vulnerabilities to develop SUD-related behaviors, and to evaluate candidate medications for treating SUDs. After a brief introduction on the use of animal models of SUDs, three speakers will discuss their research evaluating SUD-related phenotypes in rats, the use of drug-food choice procedures, and a social-operant choice assay.


Susan Ferguson - University of Washington

Novel Behavioral Paradigms to Model Substance use Disorders in Animals

Dr. Ferguson will discuss recent and ongoing work using a variety of self-administration endpoints (e.g., total drug intake, breakpoints under progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement, reinstatement) and access conditions to classify rats as having a high- or low-risk phenotype in order to better understand the underlying neurobiology related to substance use disorders.

Edward Townsend - Virginia Commonwealth University

Use of a Drug-vs-Food Choice Procedure to Investigate Mechanisms of Substance use Disorders

Dr. Townsend will present ongoing research using a choice procedure, which allows rodents to choose between drug and nondrug reinforcers. Dr. Townsend will focus on recent efforts to incorporate opioid dependence and withdrawal.

Marco Venniro - University of Maryland

Social Interactions as Alternative to Drug Use and Craving

Dr. Venniro will discuss recent research using an operant social-choice paradigm to better understand mechanism relating to social behavior and drug self-administration in rodents.

Last Updated: March 27, 2022
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