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Effects of d-amphetamine, cocaine, and phencyclidine on the acquisition of response sequences with and without stimulus fading.

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  • Research Article


In each of three components of a multiple schedule, monkeys were required to emit a different sequence of four responses in a predetermined order on four levers. Sequence completions produced food on a fixed-ratio schedule. Errors produced a brief timeout. One component of the multiple schedule was a repeated-acquisition task where the four-response sequence changed each session (learning). The second component of the multiple schedule was also a repeated-acquisition task, but acquisition was supported through the use of a stimulus-fading procedure (faded learning). In a third component of the multiple schedule, the sequence of responses remained the same from session to session (performance). At higher doses, d-amphetamine, cocaine, and phencyclidine decreased the overall rate of responding and increased the percent errors in all three components. At lower doses, however, the three drugs produced selective effects on errors. Errors were increased in the learning component at lower doses than those required to disrupt the behavior in the faded-learning component. The performance component tended to be the least sensitive to disruptive drug effects. The data are consistent with the view that stimulus fading can modulate the effects of drugs on acquisition.

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