Cocaine's effects on the discrimination of simple and complex auditory stimuli by baboons

Robert D. Hienz, Michael R. Weed, Troy J. Zarcone, Joseph V. Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The effects of cocaine on tone frequency discriminations by baboons were examined and compared with previous data for more complex acoustic stimuli (speech sounds) to see if cocaine's perceptual effects on these discriminations depends upon the type of stimulus employed (i.e., tones vs. speech sounds). Baboons pressed a lever to produce one repeating "standard" tone and released the lever only when one of four other "comparison" tones occasionally occurred in place of the standard tone. Cocaine's effects were assessed once or twice weekly by giving an intramuscular injection of cocaine hydrochloride (0.01-0.56 mg/kg) immediately prior to performing the task and by examining correct detections and reaction times for each tone following drug administration. Cocaine impaired tone discriminability, with greater impairments occurring for those tones that were more similar in frequency to the standard tone. Cocaine's perceptual effects occurred within 20-70 min following drug administration. Cocaine also impaired or facilitated the speed of responding to auditory stimuli, depending upon the drug dose and subject. The results demonstrate that cocaine can impair auditory discriminations involving simple tones, as well as speech sounds, and further supports the suggestion that cocaine's effects are focused on CNS mechanisms related to the use of pitch cues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-833
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory perception
  • Baboon
  • Cocaine
  • Discrimination
  • Lever release
  • Reaction time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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