Extinction-induced mirror responding as a baseline for studying drug effects on aggression

Mitchell S. Moore, R. Lawrence Tychsen, Donald M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Pigeons worked individually in a chamber containing a response key and a mirror. Responding on the key was controlled by a multiple schedule in which a brief period of continuous food reinforcement alternated with a 5 min period of extinction. Under baseline conditions, aggressive behavior (responding on the mirror) occured at the onset of each extinction period. After 10 saline control sessions, 5 mg/kg of chlordiazepoxide was injected IM 30 min pressesion for 60 daily sessions. The drug initially produced a marked decrease in aggressive behavior but had little or no effect on key pecking. The aggressive behavior generally remained suppressed during the chronic drug regimen and returned to control levels when the drug was withdrawn. It was concluded that the technique of extinction-induced mirror responding in pigeons provides a stable, sensitive and recoverable baseline for objectively assessing selective drug effects on aggression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-102
Number of pages4
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1976


  • Chronic chlordiazepoxide administration
  • Extinction-induced aggression
  • Mirror responding


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