Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Cooper

Abstract

Drug addiction is a debilitating psychiatric disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking despite negative consequences. Due to its prevalence in our society, the development of reliable models to investigate its epidemiology is critical to itsconditional prevention. Here, it is shown that the development and validation of a self-administration model in rodents is an accurate depiction of cocaine abuse in a conditioned environment. Using stable cocaine self-administration and dose-response behavior in un-tampered with animals, the contribution of widespread influences can be assessed and identified as associated risk-factors of drug-seeking behavior. The establishment of a reputable model serves as the foundation for all behavioral research, and proves to be a key determinant for the controlled investigations of drug addiction. The development and validation of the cocaine self-administration model in rodents is an invaluable tool for the field of addiction research.

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