Individual differences in rats' reactivity to novelty and the unconditioned and conditioned locomotor effects of methamphetamine

Rick A. Bevins, Jessica L. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Rat's reactivity to inescapable novelty can predict the subsequent psychomotor effects of many stimulants. This relation has not been examined for methamphetamine. Experiment 1 assessed the locomotor effects of methamphetamine (0.0625-1.0 mg/kg). On average, acute administration of methamphetamine (0.25, 0.5, and 1 mg/kg) had a stimulant effect on activity; locomotor sensitization was seen after repeated administration of 0.5 and 1 mg/kg. In a subsequent drug-free test, rats that had the locomotor chamber paired with 0.25, 0.5, or 1 mg/kg methamphetamine on eight separate occasions were more active than controls - conditioned hyperactivity. Experiment 2 used the 0.5-mg/kg dose to examine whether forced novelty exposure (novelty-induced activity) or free-choice novelty (approach to novel environment or object interaction) was predictive of methamphetamine's psychomotor effects. Only reactivity to inescapable novelty was systematically correlated with methamphetamine-induced activity. Rats more reactive to novelty [high responders (HR)] were more active to the acute and chronic methamphetamine challenge. Furthermore, these HR showed more conditioned hyperactivity than low responders (LR). Although acute methamphetamine did not have a stimulant effect in LR, only the LR displayed locomotor sensitization after chronic methamphetamine. This research extends the predictive variable of reactivity to inescapable novelty to methamphetamine's conditioned and unconditioned locomotor effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Activity
  • Associative learning
  • Context conditioning
  • Drug abuse
  • Individual differences
  • Locomotor stimulant
  • Methamphetamine
  • Novelty
  • Object interaction
  • Rat
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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