Rationale: The reinforcing effects of stimulant drugs such as D-amphetamine, caffeine, and cocaine are modulated by behavioral demands following drug administration. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the reinforcing effects of methylphenidate under different behavioral demands using a modified progressive-ratio procedure. Methods: The reinforcing effects of oral methylphenidate (0, 10, 20, and 40 mg) were assessed in seven healthy adult volunteers under both performance and relaxation conditions. Performance sessions required volunteers to complete simple arithmetic problems for three 50-min blocks. Relaxation sessions required volunteers to sit quietly in a semi-reclined position in a darkened room for three 50-min blocks. Two sampling sessions (one performance and one relaxation session) always preceded two self-administration sessions (one performance and one relaxation session) and the order of relaxation and performance sessions was constant within a dose condition. Results: Methylphenidate significantly increased break point and number of capsules earned on the modified progressive-ratio procedure as an increasing function of dose under the performance, but not the relaxation, condition. Methylphenidate produced comparable stimulant-like subject ratings under both the performance and relaxation conditions. Conclusion: The findings of the present experiment suggest that the reinforcing effects of methylphenidate, like D-amphetamine and cocaine, are influenced by behavioral demands following drug administration.
- Performance and relaxation
- Subject-rated effects