Date of Award

5-20-2012

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Anthony Rauhut

Language

English

Abstract

Two experiments examined the role of limited environmental enrichment on behavioral sensitization to methamphetamine in Swiss-Webster mice. Researchers hypothesized that limited environmental enrichment would slow the rate of sensitization for enriched mice. In Experiment 1, mice (enriched) were exposed to enrichment chambers (6 hours/day x 15 days) or remained in their home cages (non-enriched controls) (Enrichment phase). Mice were then injected with methamphetamine (0.5 mg/kg) once a week for 4 weeks (Sensitization phase). In Experiment 2, mice were exposed either to limited environmental enrichment (6 hours/day x 15 days or 6 hours/day x 5 days) or remained in their home cages (non-enriched controls) during the Enrichment phase followed by methamphetamine sensitization. The results of both experiments indicated that enriched mice, regardless of the amount of environmental enrichment, demonstrated a slower rate of sensitization compared to the non-enriched mice, suggesting that limited environmental enrichment blunted the behavioral effects of methamphetamine.

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