Cocaine self-administration and social behaviour in extremes of the sensory processing sensitivity trait in rats

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Sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is a trait defined by sensory information processing, emotional reactions, and susceptibility to overstimulation. Individuals scoring high on this trait are differentially susceptible to positive and negative environments. In this study, 22 rats were selected on extremes on the SPS trait. High and low SPS-like rats either underwent cocaine self-administration trials or remained drug na ve. After a training period, where rats had access to self-administration boxes for 1 hour per day, long access exposure trials began, where they were allowed to self-administer cocaine for 6 hours per day. Social interaction and memory was scored before drug exposure, after training, and after long access exposure to the drug. High SPS animals show a greater escalation in cocaine intake compared to low SPS animals, and show more social and less non-social behaviour on the social interaction test. After long access exposure to cocaine, rats show more non-social behaviour compared to na ve rats. This study provides a deeper insight into the nature of addiction in susceptible individuals.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen