Abstract # 201:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 19, 2006 09:30 AM-10:00 AM: Session 17 (Regency East #1) Oral Presentation

Rhesus monkeys and alcohol reinforcement: An overview

R. A. Meisch and T. H. Gomez
UT-HHSC, 1300 Moursund, Houston, TX 77303, USA
     Since 1973 we have studied the alcohol drinking of more than forty male rhesus monkeys. We have developed procedures for establishing alcohol as a reinforcer (or reward) at concentrations than range from 2% w/v to 32% (32% w/v is approximately 80 proof). In addition to alcohol concentration we have studied other factors that control alcohol drinking, and these include the schedule of reinforcement, the schedule requirements, choice between alcohol and water, choice between alcohol concentrations, and drug effects on alcohol drinking. Data for each of these effects will be shown. Significantly the alcohol-reinforced behavior of rhesus monkeys is similar to that of humans studied under comparable laboratory conditions, and the monkeys’ behavior is also similar to the alcohol-reinforced behavior of rodents. Moreover, other abused drugs have been established as oral reinforcers in rhesus monkeys, and there are significant correspondences (as well as differences) between behavior reinforced by alcohol and by other drugs.