Exploring emotional self-medication during extinction of escape behavior in rats
Thompson, Joanna Brooke,author.
Master of Science
Precursor behaviors that may lead to the development of addiction were explored using the emotional self-medication hypothesis. Experiment 1 involved a master-yoked design which tested the effects of escape extinction using the Barnes maze (BM). Experiment 2 tested the BM as an anxiety induction task which was immediately followed by a 2-h, 2-bottle preference test where ethanol, an anxiolytic substance was made available (i.e. ethanol/water in one group vs. water/water in the control). Increases in exploratory behavior were taken as evidence of anxiety in the escape extinction phase of the BM task. Transient increases in preference for ethanol were observed in Experiment 2 which provide support for the drug specificity postulate of the emotional self-medication hypothesis.