Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Advisor

Crawford, Cynthia

Second Advisor

McDougall, Sanders

Third Advisor

Chien, Yuchin


The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) in the ontogeny of amphetamine-induced behavioral sensitization. Eleven-day-old rat pups were given five daily bilateral infusions of the mGluR antagonist, (RS)-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG) followed by a systemic injection of amphetamine and locomotor activity was measured. It was hypothesized that rats receving amphetamine pretreatment and an amphetamine challenge would exhibit a significant increase in activity, indicating short-term behavioral sensitization. As predicted, repeated amphetamine administration during the pretreatment phase produced progressively enhanced locomotor activity, indicating the development of behavioral sensitization. The effect of MCPG on locomotor activity appears to be independent from the effects of amphetamine-induced locomotor activity and MCPG pretreatment failed to consistently block the expression of behavioral sensitization in rats pretreated with amphetamine and challenged with amphetamine. This study demonstrated that contrary to previous studies on adult rats, the mGluR system does not appear to consistently mediate the development of amphetamine-induced sensitization in neonatal rats.