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Voluntary alcohol access during adolescence/early adulthood, but not during adulthood, causes faster omission contingency learning.

08:00 EDT 13th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Voluntary alcohol access during adolescence/early adulthood, but not during adulthood, causes faster omission contingency learning."

In omission contingency training, rodents learn to suppress their natural tendency to approach or touch a reward-predictive cue (termed "autoshaping" or "sign-tracking" responses) if the approach/touching responses lead to the omission of the reward. Previous research has shown that high levels of alcohol exposure (through alcohol vapor exposure) or adolescent alcohol consumption (with some versions of the omission contingency task) can lead to faster omission contingency learning. However, the alcohol exposure procedures and/or omission contingency task parameters differed between these different demonstrations. It was unclear whether the same voluntary alcohol consumption procedures during adolescence/early adulthood and/or adulthood would lead to faster omission contingency learning in one or both age groups. Here, rats received 6 weeks of chronic intermittent access to 20% alcohol or water from PND 26-66 (adolescence/early adulthood in Exp. 1) or PND 68-108 (adulthood in Exp. 2) and began behavioral training (autoshaping training followed by omission contingency training) 10-17 days later. We found no evidence that alcohol access at either age altered the number of trials with a sign-tracking response on the levers during autoshaping training. However, alcohol access during adolescence/early adulthood, but not during adulthood, led to faster learning to withhold responding on the lever under omission contingencies during the subsequent phase. We also found no evidence that the level of alcohol consumption was correlated with sign-tracking behavior in the autoshaping phase or with the suppression of lever-pressing during the omission contingency phase. Our results suggest that adolescent/early adulthood rats have increased vulnerability, compared with adults, to some long-term behavioral effects of voluntary alcohol consumption.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Behavioural brain research
ISSN: 1872-7549
Pages: 111918

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