Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Brian Kelley

Degree Award Date

Spring 2008


Cocaine, Reward, Activity, Affect, Adolescent mice, Adult mice, dose response curve


Investigative Techniques | Substance Abuse and Addiction


This purpose of this study was to examine the differences between adolescent and adult mice in response to cocaine across a dose response curve. Cocaine is an extremely strong and reinforcing psychostimulant which is abused by millions of people world-wide. It can be assumed that differences will not be found in less potent stimuli if none are found in the strongest stimulus. This study served to demonstrate the relationship between age and cocaine using the reward measure of the conditioned place preference. The results showed that the adolescents have a decreased sensitivity to the drug across the reward measure. The clinical implications of this find support the notion that pharmacological experimentation and novelty seeking behavior during adolescence provides the foundation for lifelong addiction.