An animal behavior model for studying the actions of LSD and related hallucinogens

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Science  12 Nov 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4266, pp. 741-743
DOI: 10.1126/science.982043


Cats injected with LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) exhibit a group of behaviors that appear to be specific to hallucinogenic drugs. Two of these behaviors, limb flick and abortive grooming, have an extremely low frequency of occurrence in normal cats, but often dominate the behavior of LSD-treated cats. The frequency of occurrence of this group of behaviors is related to the dose of LSD. The behavioral changes are long-lasting following a single injection of LSD, and exhibit tolerance following the repeated administration of LSD. They are not elicited by a variety of control drugs, but are elicited by other indole nucleus hallucinogens. Because the behavioral effects are specific, reliable, easy to score, and quantifiable, they represent an animal model that can be used in studies of the effects of LSD and related hallucinogens.