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Coddington, Sarah B. (2011) SEX DIFFERENCES IN CONDITIONING OF NICOTINE-ASSOCIATED CUES. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Smoking cessation success rates are lower in females. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) increases smoking cessation, but successful quit rates remain low. NRT studies demonstrate the complexity of the smoking experience and support the importance of nicotine-associated cues in driving smoking behaviors. The conditioning of nicotine-associated cues represents a potential mechanism through which smoking-related cues may become differentially reinforcing and males and females. AIM: The current study assesses whether nicotine-associated stimuli become conditioned reinforcers and whether this occurs differently across sexes. HYPOTHESIS: A cue associated with nicotine delivery will become conditioned reinforcers and support higher responding on a novel response than a cue not previously associated with nicotine. Conditioning will be greater in females. METHOD: Sprague-Dawley rats (92 m, 92 f) responded on nose pokes for 32 conditioning sessions. Animals in the experimental group (NIC+CS) responded on the active nose poke for a presentation of a 15s white light (CS) accompanied by an infusion of nicotine (NIC). Animals in control groups responded for a NIC (NIC-Only) infusion, the CS (CS-Only) accompanied by a saline infusion, the CS in the presence of yoked NIC (YN+CS), or no reinforcer (Activity-Only). After conditioning, nose pokes were replaced with levers. All animals responded for the CS for 5 sessions. STATISTICAL ANALYSES: Group and sex Differences in the number of reinforcers earned were assessed using pairwise ANOVA comparisons. Findings with p<0.05 were considered significant. RESULTS: During conditioning, NIC-Only animals (F=46.8, p<0.001) and CS-Only animals (F= 58.0) earned more reinforcers than Activity-Only animals. YN+CS animals demonstrated enhanced responding for the CS compared to CS-Only animals (F=60.0). Adding the CS to NIC delivery increased responding for NIC (F=35.5) in both sexes, but this increase was greatest in males (F=4.0), suggesting greater conditioning in males. During the new response phase, NIC+CS animals earned more CS presentations than CS-Only (F=19.9) or YN+CS (F= 8.7) animals, suggesting the CS became a conditioned reinforcer. No group*sex interactions were revealed, however power to detect this interaction was low. CONCLUSIONS: Cues associated with nicotine delivery become conditioned reinforcers. Conditioning effects are greater in males than in females.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Coddington, Sarah B.sbc9@pitt.eduSBC9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDonny, Eric Cedonny@pitt.eduEDONNY
Committee MemberCaggiula, Anthony Rtonypsy@pitt.eduTONYPSY
Committee MemberConklin, Cynthia Aconklinca@upmc.eduCAC2
Date: 27 January 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 16 November 2009
Approval Date: 27 January 2011
Submission Date: 23 April 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: conditioning; nicotine; self-administration; sex differences
Other ID:, etd-04232010-054438
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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