A Procedure to Observe Context-induced Renewal of Pavlovian-conditioned Alcohol-seeking Behavior in Rats

Environmental contexts in which drugs of abuse are consumed can trigger craving, a subjective Pavlovian-conditioned response that can facilitate drug-seeking behavior and prompt relapse in abstinent drug users. We have developed a procedure to study the behavioral and neural processes that mediate the impact of context on alcohol-seeking behavior in rats. jove

The procedure consists of three phases: Pavlovian discrimination training (PDT), extinction, and context-induced renewal test.

Results from this procedure reveal that discrete environmental stimuli that routinely accompany alcohol delivery can acquire the capacity to drive alcohol-seeking behavior. They also demonstrate that contextual stimuli associated with the prior availability or absence of alcohol can guide conditioned behavioral responses to discrete alcohol-predictive cues.

This task can be used in combination with neuropharmacology, optogenetics and neurochemistry to study the neural mechanisms that are involved in context-induced renewal of Pavlovian-conditioned alcohol-seeking behavior16. In addition, behavioral and neural mechanisms that regulate the acquisition and extinction of Pavlovian-conditioned alcohol-seeking behavior can be investigated. Lastly, this task can be used to explore manipulations of extinction that might prevent renewal, an important direction for translational research aimed at reducing the impact of drug associated environmental contexts on reactivity to drug predictive cues after cue exposure therapy in human addicts.


Moshe Pritsker reports on SciFoo, JoVE is a video publication of laboratory experiments. Experiments are filmed in universities in 20 countries around the world, and then published online (video + text) in the format of a peer reviewed scientific journal. The step-by-step demonstration of the experimental details enable their replication much better than traditional text articles.

At this time we produce and publish about 100 video articles per month, mostly from top universities.


A growing backlog of psychology findings that have never been reproduced has shaken confidence in the field. One possible remedy is to require PhD students to replicate at least one study from their own specialism as part of their education, write UK psychologists Brian Earp and Jim Everett in an opinion piece in Frontiers in Psychology. nature


This is Khan Academy for Post Docs. The editors explain that professional video is much more expensive to produce so the proceedings (videos) cannot be free. But what about the interested amateur independent of a research institution? Are they not allowed to understand the care that goes into repeatable results?