This experiment determined whether overt performance of the entire response (actual running) was necessary for the conditioning of methylphenidate-induced locomotor activity (wheel-running) in guinea pigs. Four guinea pigs were given daily injections of 2.5 mg/kg methylphenidate and were allowed to run in activity wheels; 4 other guinea pigs were given methylphenidate and were placed in locked activity wheels; a third group of 4 guinea pigs were administered saline and allowed to locomote; a fourth group of 4 guinea pigs received saline injections and were placed in locked activity wheels. After 12 days of injection, all animals were given saline injections on the 9 subsequent days and allowed to run freely in the wheels. The 2 groups which had received methylphenidate showed more locomotor activity than the saline injected animals but were not distinguishable from each other on the basis of prior opportunity to engage in locomotor activity. These results were interpreted to indicate that (a) increased methylphenidate-induced locomotor activity may be conditioned with repeated administration of the drug, and (b) actual running is not essential for the conditioning of drug-induced wheel-running.
- Chronic drug administration
- Locomotor activity