Pentobarbital facilitated extinction: Effects of different schedules of drug withdrawal

Roland R. Griffiths, Travis Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bar pressing by rats was trained on a fixed-ratio food reinforcement schedule and subsequently extinguished under different schedules of drug withdrawal. Reduced total extinction responding was obtained with 20-25 sessions of 15 min duration or 3 sessions of 5 hr duration. Both the gradual discontinuation dose schedule (fading) and the abrupt discontinuation dose schedule were equally effective in reducing extinction responding. However, the absolute number of sessions of drug treatment by the graded dose schedule or the abrupt discontinuation schedule had no effect on total responding. Although there was no difference on total extinction responding under the 2 dose schedules, the pattern of extinction responding was markedly different. The graded dose procedure produced little or no responding on the first extinction session with intermittent response bursting thereafter. However, the abrupt discontinuation procedure produced complete response suppression during initial drug sessions followed by substantial responding on the first saline session with progressively fewer responses over the next few sessions. Except for the initial response suppression, the pattern of extinction responding for the abrupt discontinuation procedure was identical to that observed when saline alone was administered in extinction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-338
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1974


  • Extinction
  • Fading
  • Pentobarbital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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