This protocol describes the equipment and methods used to establish conditioned place preference (CPP) or aversion (CPA). Place conditioning is a form of Pavlovian conditioning routinely used to measure the rewarding or aversive motivational effects of objects or experiences (e.g., abused drugs). Here, we present a place conditioning procedure that has been used extensively to study the motivational effects of ethanol and other abused drugs in mice. This protocol involves three phases: (i) habituation (or a pretest), (ii) conditioning of an association between the drug and a tactile or visual stimulus and (iii) a test that offers a choice between the drug-associated cue and a neutral cue. If the drug has motivational significance, mice will spend significantly more time (CPP) or less time (CPA) in proximity to the drug-associated cue. Potential problems in the design and interpretation of place conditioning studies are discussed. A typical experiment lasts 2 weeks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)