Effects of SKF-83566 and haloperidol on performance on progressive ratio schedules maintained by sucrose and corn oil reinforcement: quantitative analysis using a new model derived from the Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement (MPR)

C M Olarte Sanchez, L Valencia-Torres, H J Cassaday, C M Bradshaw, E Szabadi

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Mathematical models can assist the interpretation of the effects of interventions on schedule-controlled behaviour and help to differentiate between processes that may be confounded in traditional performance measures such as response rate and the breakpoint in progressive ratio (PR) schedules.
The effects of a D1-like dopamine receptor antagonist, 8-bromo-2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-3-methyl-5-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepin-7-ol hydrobromide (SKF-83566), and a D2-like receptor antagonist, haloperidol, on rats’ performance on PR schedules maintained by sucrose and corn oil reinforcers were assessed using a new model derived from Killeen’s (Behav Brain Sci 17:105–172, 1994) Mathematical Principles of Reinforcement.
Separate groups of rats were trained under a PR schedule using sucrose or corn oil reinforcers. SKF-83566 (0.015 and 0.03 mg kg−1) and haloperidol (0.05 and 0.1 mg kg−1) were administered intraperitoneally (five administrations of each treatment). Running and overall response rates in successive ratios were analysed using the new model, and estimates of the model’s parameters were compared between treatments.
Haloperidol reduced a (the parameter expressing incentive value) in the case of both reinforcers, but did not affect the parameters related to response time and post-reinforcement pausing. SKF-83566 reduced a and k (the parameter expressing sensitivity of post-reinforcement pausing to the prior inter-reinforcement interval) in the case of sucrose, but did not affect any of the parameters in the case of corn oil.
The results are consistent with the hypothesis that blockade of both D1-like and D2-like receptors reduces the incentive value of sucrose, whereas the incentive value of corn oil is more sensitive to blockade of D2-like than D1-like receptors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-630
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date5 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013



  • progressive ratio schedule
  • matematical principles of reinforcement
  • mathematical model
  • D1-and -D2-like dopamine receptors
  • SKF-83566
  • haloperidol
  • incentive value
  • sucrose
  • corn oil
  • rats

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