Richard J. Beninger

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The discovery that the brain contains neurons utilizing dopamine (DA) as their transmitter has led to studies of the behavioral function of these neurons. Changes in overall level of activity of DA neurons appear to produce parallel changes in locomotor activity. Additionally, DA neurons seem to mediate in part the effects of biologically significant(More)
There now is general agreement that dopaminergic neurons projecting from ventral mesencephalic nuclei to forebrain targets play a critical role in reward-related incentive learning. Many recent experiments evaluate the role of dopamine (DA) receptor subtypes in various paradigms involving this type of learning. The first part of this paper reviews evidence(More)
Animals with a history of receiving daily injections of +-amphetamine in a specific environment showed a placebo effect (enhanced activity) when injected with saline and placed there; control animals with similar but dissociated drug histories and experience with the test chamber failed to show the effect. The dopamine receptor blocker pimozide antagonized(More)
 The administration of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principle psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, or the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide, has been shown to impair recent memory. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine if the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist SR141716A could attenuate THC- or anandamide-induced memory(More)
Nondeclarative memory (NDM) has subtypes associated with different brain regions; learning of a probabilistic classification task is impaired by striatal damage and learning of a gambling task is impaired by ventromedial prefrontocortical damage. Typical and atypical antipsychotic medications differentially affect immediate early gene expression in the(More)
Although caffeine may be the most widely used behaviorally active drug, few studies have examined its rewarding properties. In the present study, the designs of place-conditioning and taste-conditioning paradigms were combined in a single experiment to provide two independent measures of drug reward. During 3 preconditioning sessions, undrugged rats(More)
Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of pimozide on cocaine-produced conditioning to a specific environmental context. On 8 treatment days, 12 rats were injected with cocaine (10 mg/kg i.p.) and 12 with saline prior to placement for 60 min into a test chamber outfitted with infrared emitters and detectors. Following each treatment session(More)
Reward-related incentive learning involves the acquisition by neutral stimuli of an enhanced ability to elicit approach and other responses. Previous studies have shown that both dopamine (DA) and glutamate (Glu) play critical roles in this type of learning. Signaling molecules are intracellular messengers that participate in the influence of(More)
1 A procedure for examining the acquisition of a lever-pressing operant with conditioned reinforcement was used to compare the effects of three psychomotor stimulants. 2 Hungry rats were trained to associated and auditory tone (i.e., conditioned reinforcer) with food. Preference for the tone was then measured after treatment with pipradol (5, 10, 15 mg/kg),(More)
The nucleus accumbens (NAc) plays a role in conditioned place preference (CPP). The authors tested the hypothesis that inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) would inhibit NAc-amphetamine-produced CPP. Results confirmed that NAc amphetamine increased levels of the MAPK extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). In CPP studies, NAc(More)