The conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm was used in order to assess the reinforcing actions of nicotine in rats. Subjects were tested in "unbiased" two-compartment shuttle boxes, so-called because neither compartment was consistently preferred prior to drug conditioning. In the first experiment, subjects that were initially drug naive showed neither a preference nor an aversion to the compartment that had been paired on four occasions with injection of nicotine (0.2-0.8 mg/kg SC); a similar result occurred in another group given daily injections of nicotine in the home cage prior to the experiment. In a second experiment, nicotine (0.4, 0.8 mg/kg SC) again failed to produce a CPP, whereas marked CPPs were seen in parallel groups of rats tested with either d-amphetamine or methylphenidate. Although nicotine has been reported to produce conditioned place preference, the present results suggest that it is not a robust phenomenon.