An Addiction Science Network Resource

Locomotor Activity (LMA)


Addictive drugs derive a major part of their reinforcing impact by activating brain mechanisms associated with normal behaviors such as exploratory behavior and locomotor activity (LMA). Although these other behaviors (e.g., LMA) are not measures of drug reinforcement, they often correspond with drug reinforcement. Because LMA is easy to measure, this behavioral test is frequently used for preliminary determination of experimental manipulations that may affect drug addiction. LMA is also used to study the conditioning and the neuroadaptive responses that occur with repeated drug administration.

view of apparatus sans rat

LMA during cocaine IVSA

 

Click here to view a classic paper describing the theoretical relationship between locomotor activity and brain reward systems—“A Psychomotor Stimulant Theory of Addiction” (Wise & Bozarth, 1987).

 


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