The present experiment evaluates the effects of intermittent exposure to a social stimulus on ethanol and water drinking in rats. Four groups of rats were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial design with 2 levels of Social procedure (Intermittent Social vs Continuous Social) and 2 levels of sipper Liquid (Ethanol vs Water). Intermittent Social groups received 35 trials per session. Each trial consisted of the insertion of the sipper tube for 10 s followed by lifting of the guillotine door for 15 s. The guillotine door separated the experimental rat from the conspecific rat in the wire mesh cage during the 60 s inter-trial interval. The Continuous Social groups received similar procedures except that the guillotine door was raised during the entire duration of the session. For the Ethanol groups, the concentrations of ethanol in the sipper [3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16% (vol/vol)] increased across sessions, while the Water groups received 0% ethanol (water) in the sipper throughout the experiment. Both Social procedures induced more intake of ethanol than water. The Intermittent Social procedure induced more ethanol intake at the two highest ethanol concentration blocks (10-12% and 14-16%) than the Continuous Social procedure, but this effect was not observed with water. Effects of social stimulation on ethanol drinking are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Schedule-induced polydipsia