Effects of d-amphetamine and haloperidol on latent inhibition in healthy male volunteers

Veena Kumari, Paul A. Cotter, Owen F. Mulligan, Stuart A. Checkley, Nicola S. Gray, David R. Hemsley, Jasper C. Thornton, Philip J. Corr, Brian K. Toone, Jeffrey A. Gray

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Latent inhibition (LI) refers to a retardation of learning about the consequences of a stimulus when that stimulus has been passively presented a number of times without reinforcement. Acute positive-symptom schizophrenics, normal volunteers who score high on questionnaire measures of schizotypy and non-patients or animals treated with dopamine agonists show reduced LI. Neuroleptic drugs, such as haloperidol, administered at low doses, potentiate LI and effectively reverse disruption of LI induced by dopamine agonists in animals. However, a high dose of haloperidol, administered on its own, has been found to reduce LI. We examined the effects on LI of acute oral administration of an indirect dopamine-agonist, d-amphetamine (5 mg), and a nonselective dopamine receptor antagonist, haloperidol (5 mg), in normal male volunteers, using an associative learning task. Replicating previous reports, we found that d-amphetamine reduced LI; haloperidol also reduced LI, but only in subjects who scored low on the Psychoticism scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. In a subsequent study, no effect was found of 2 mg oral haloperidol administration on LI. The effect of 5 mg haloperidol on LI is interpreted as similar to that observed with a high dose of haloperidol in rats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-405
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Association Learning
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Haloperidol
  • Humans
  • Inhibition (Psychology)
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Rats
  • Regression Analysis

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