The effects of d-amphetamine, chlordiazepoxide and alpha-flupenthixol on food-reinforced tracking of a visual stimulus by rats

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1985;85(3):361-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00428202.


Rats were trained to respond to one of two levers under a random ratio schedule of food reinforcement. Which of the levers was correct was redetermined before each response and signalled by a light. The effects of d-amphetamine (0.2-3.2 mg/kg), chlordiazepoxide (1-8 mg/kg), and the neuroleptic alpha-flupenthixol (0.03-0.33 mg/kg) on the efficiency of rats tracking this visual cue were examined. d-Amphetamine increased the proportion of responses made on the correct lever at low and intermediate doses, but reduced the proportion at 3.2 mg/kg. At the highest dose, chlordiazepoxide produced a small increase in this measure, together with a reduction in response rate, but alpha-flupenthixol had no effect, even at a dose reducing response rate. Low doses of amphetamine also increased switching between the levers, producing a proportionately greater increase in switching from the correct lever to the incorrect lever than vice versa. The results are interpreted as showing that d-amphetamine facilitates tracking performance as a result of its action of enhancing response switching, and supporting the hypothesis that facilitation of performance by amphetamine-like drugs depends on the effect of the drug on response output coinciding with task requirements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlordiazepoxide / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects*
  • Dextroamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Flupenthixol / pharmacology*
  • Food
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Thioxanthenes / pharmacology*


  • Thioxanthenes
  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Flupenthixol
  • Dextroamphetamine