Thrill-seeking females work hard for their next fix

Mar 11, 2011

It seems that women become addicted to cocaine more easily than men and find it harder to give up. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biology of Sex Differences reinforces this position by showing that the motivation of female rats to work for cocaine is much higher than males.

Researchers from the Molecular and Institute, University of Michigan, found that rats bred to have an elevated and increased impulsiveness are more easily trained to reward themselves with cocaine. They are also more determined, than similar rats with low impulsivity and lower stress responses, in pursuit of their next fix.

While cocaine dependency has something to do with thrill seeking and impulsivity, it is also affected by the differences between males and females. At a low dose, for both sets of rats, it was the females who were quickest to learn self-administration and were the most willing to work harder for their next fix. At higher doses, the differences in behaviour between the male and female rats were less apparent.

Whilst certain personality types are perhaps predisposed towards Dr Jennifer Cummings explained, "An individual's sex continues to increase the likelihood of ."

Explore further: Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing

More information: Effects of a selectively bred novelty-seeking phenotype on the motivation to take cocaine in male and female rats, Jennifer A Cummings, Brooke A Gowl, Christel Westenbroek, Sarah M Clinton, Huda Akiland and Jill B Becker, Biology of Sex Differences (in press)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Emotional 'bummer' of cocaine addiction mimicked in animals

Mar 12, 2008

Cocaine addicts often suffer a downward emotional spiral that is a key to their craving and chronic relapse. While researchers have developed animal models of the reward of cocaine, they have not been able to model this emotional ...

Drugs to treat cocaine abuse?

Aug 10, 2010

The authors of a new study in Biological Psychiatry explore pharmacological strategies for reducing cocaine self-administration in animals that may have implications for treating cocaine dependence in humans.

Recommended for you

Molecular gate that could keep cancer cells locked up

43 minutes ago

In a study published today in Genes & Development, Dr Christian Speck from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre's DNA Replication group, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), New York, ...

The 'memory' of starvation is in your genes

4 hours ago

During the winter of 1944, the Nazis blocked food supplies to the western Netherlands, creating a period of widespread famine and devastation. The impact of starvation on expectant mothers produced one of the first known ...

User comments : 0