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This study examined the behavioral effects of d-amphetamine and recreational activities, alone and in combination, in high and low impulsive sensation seekers. Healthy 18-27 year-old participants, scoring in the upper (N=8) or lower (N=8) third of college students on the impulsive sensation-seeking scale of the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire, completed eight test days in which sessions were completed before (i.e., baseline) and 60, 120 and 180 minutes after d-amphetamine (0, 10 mg/70 kg) administration. Between sessions, subjects completed recreational activities (movies, music, reading, videogames) identified as high or low in sensation value. Each of four conditions (low and high sensation value activities combined with placebo and active drug) was administered under double-blind conditions on 2 days according to a randomized-block design. Typical stimulant-like cardiovascular and task performance effects were engendered by d-amphetamine; consistent with previous research, the magnitude of drug effects were greater among high sensation seekers. High sensation value activities engendered independent stimulant-like effects on subject ratings. These results suggest that d-amphetamine and high sensation stimulus materials may activate a common neurobiological substrate, likely the mesolimbic dopamine system, and that individual differences in sensation seeking status play a role in vulnerability to stimulant drug abuse.
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