The differential effects of haloperidol and methamphetamine on time estimation in the rat

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1983;79(1):10-5. doi: 10.1007/BF00433008.


Forty rats were trained to make a left lever response if a signal (white noise) was 2.5s and to make a right lever response if the signal was 6.3s. When seven intermediate signal durations, to which responses were not reinforced, were randomly interspersed the probability of a right-lever ('long') response increased as a function of signal duration. Methamphetamine shifted this psychometric function leftward and decreased its slope: haloperidol also decreased the slope but shifted the function rightward. A combination of haloperidol and methamphetamine led to a function similar to the saline control function. The leftward shift probably reflects an increase in the speed of an internal clock, and the rightward shift probably reflects a decrease in its speed. Since methamphetamine releases several catecholamines, including dopamine, and haloperidol blocks dopamine receptors, it is plausible that the horizontal location of the psychometric function (the speed of the clock) is related to the effective level of dopamine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cues
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Dopamine / drug effects
  • Time Perception / drug effects*


  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Haloperidol
  • Dopamine