Relationship between amphetamine and environmentally induced stereotypies in pigs

E. M Claudia Terlouw*, Alistair B. Lawrence, Andrew W. Illius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study investigated the relationship between the behavioural response to a standard dose of amphetamine and environmentally induced stereotypies in pigs. There were large individual differences in the frequency of amphetamine-induced stereotypies and time spent in locomotion. In addition, these tho measures tended to be negatively correlated each other, indicating that they were competitive. Levels of amphetamine stereotypies were negatively correlated with those of chain manipulation and drinking after a period of 50 and 100 days of physical restraint and food restriction; levels of locomotion were positively correlated with levels of chain manipulation after 100 days of restraint and restrictive feeding. These results suggest that pigs differ in their predisposition to develop environmentally induced stereotypies, and that this is related to catecholaminergic systems in the brain. In an amphetamine test performed after the period of restraint and restrictive feeding, amphetamine stereotypies were generally higher than in the first test but behaviour was no longer correlated to previous levels of environmentally induced stereotypies. The qualitative differences between the two forms of stereotypy, their negative rather than positive correlation, and the lack of correlation between environment-dependent stereotypies in the second amphetamine test suggests a complex relationship between these two forms of stereotypies. The increased amphetamine sensitivity in the second amphetamine test may reflect the effect of stress on central catecholaminergic systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Amphetamine
  • Arousal
  • Excessive drinking Chain manipulation
  • Individual differences
  • Pigs
  • Stereotypies


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