Dr. Brian Kelley
Degree Award Date
Cocaine, Reward, Activity, Affect, Dose, Age, Adults, Adolescents, mice, behavioral measures, motor activity test
The purpose of this study was to examine the differences between adolescent and adult mice in response to cocaine across several important behavioral measures. 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. The present study served to demonstrate the relationship between adolescent's conditioned and unconditioned responses using the motor activity test. The results showed that the adolescents displayed an overall increased sensitivity to cocaine's ability to alleviate depression and despair compared to adults. The clinical implications of this study support the notion that pharmacological experimentation and novelty-seeking behavior during adolescence provides the foundation for lifelong addiction.
Rohrer, Hillary, "Cocaine's Impact on Reward, Activity and Affect is Dose Dependently Impacted By Age: Adults vs. Adolescents" (2008). Honors Projects. 204.