UNIT 8.25 Modeling Appetitive Pavlovian-Instrumental Interactions in Mice

  1. Eoin C. O'Connor,
  2. David N. Stephens,
  3. Hans S. Crombag

Published Online: 1 OCT 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0825s53

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

O'Connor, E. C., Stephens, D. N. and Crombag, H. S. 2010. Modeling Appetitive Pavlovian-Instrumental Interactions in Mice. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 53:8.25:8.25.1–8.25.27.

Author Information

  1. Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Research Group, School of Psychology, The University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 OCT 2010
  2. Published Print: OCT 2010


In appetitive Pavlovian associative learning, a stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) that has been associated with the delivery of a reinforcing event (unconditioned stimulus, US; e.g., food) can subsequently elicit or modulate goal-directed instrumental behaviors. For example, a Pavlovian CS can serve to reinforce (novel) instrumental behavior (conditioned reinforcement or CRf), or it can energize and potentiate ongoing instrumental responses when presented non-contingently (Pavlovian-instrumental transfer or PIT). Notably, these different effects of a Pavlovian CS on instrumental behavior are mediated by dissociable psychological and neurobiological mechanisms. Given the critical role that Pavlovian-instrumental interactions play in regulating motivated behavior and maladaptive manifestations of motivation such as eating disorders and addictions, understanding the underlying psychological and neurobiological mechanisms will be important. This unit describes behavioral protocols that produce robust and reliable PIT and CRf in mice and that open the door for future studies using transgenic approaches into the molecular mechanisms underlying associative learning and motivation. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 53:8.25.1-8.25.27. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • associative learning;
  • behavior;
  • classical conditioning;
  • operant conditioning;
  • incentive learning;
  • reward;
  • transgenic;
  • knockout;
  • mouse