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Conditioned place preference (also known as environmental place conditioning) is a technique commonly used in animal studies to evaluate preferences for environmental stimuli that have been associated with a positive or negative reward. The technique is often used to determine the addiction potential of drugs.

The procedure involves several trials where the animal is presented with the positive stimulus (e.g., food, neurotransmitters or the effects of a drug of abuse) paired with placement in a distinct environment containing various cues (e.g., tactile, visual, and/or olfactory). When later tested in the normal state, approaches and the amount of time spent in the compartments previously associated with the positive stimulus serves as an indicator of preference and a measure of reward learning.


  • Conditioned Place Preference Protocol
  • Thomas M. Tzschentke, Measuring reward with the conditioned place preference paradigm: a comprehensive review of drug effects, recent progress and new issues, Progress in Neurobiology, Volume 56, Issue 6, December 1998, Pages 613-672, ISSN 0301-0082, DOI: 10.1016/S0301-0082(98)00060-4. PDF at ScienceDirect
  • E. Derea, A. Zlomuzicaa, M.A. De Souza Silva a, L.A. Ruoccob, A.G. Sadileb, J.P. Hustona. 2010. Neuronal histamine and the interplay of memory, reinforcement and emotions. Behavioural Brain Research. 215:209–220


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