Measuring reward with the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm: update of the last decade

Addict Biol. 2007 Sep;12(3-4):227-462. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2007.00070.x.


Conditioned place preference (CPP) continues to be one of the most popular models to study the motivational effects of drugs and non-drug treatments in experimental animals. This is obvious from a steady year-to-year increase in the number of publications reporting the use this model. Since the compilation of the preceding review in 1998, more than 1000 new studies using place conditioning have been published, and the aim of the present review is to provide an overview of these recent publications. There are a number of trends and developments that are obvious in the literature of the last decade. First, as more and more knockout and transgenic animals become available, place conditioning is increasingly used to assess the motivational effects of drugs or non-drug rewards in genetically modified animals. Second, there is a still small but growing literature on the use of place conditioning to study the motivational aspects of pain, a field of pre-clinical research that has so far received little attention, because of the lack of appropriate animal models. Third, place conditioning continues to be widely used to study tolerance and sensitization to the rewarding effects of drugs induced by pre-treatment regimens. Fourth, extinction/reinstatement procedures in place conditioning are becoming increasingly popular. This interesting approach is thought to model certain aspects of relapse to addictive behavior and has previously almost exclusively been studied in drug self-administration paradigms. It has now also become established in the place conditioning literature and provides an additional and technically easy approach to this important phenomenon. The enormous number of studies to be covered in this review prevented in-depth discussion of many methodological, pharmacological or neurobiological aspects; to a large extent, the presentation of data had to be limited to a short and condensed summary of the most relevant findings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Choice Behavior* / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical* / drug effects
  • Extinction, Psychological / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Research*
  • Reward*
  • Social Environment*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / genetics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation