Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Perry N Fuchs


Pain is a subjective, private, yet universal phenomenon that depends on a unique combination of sensory, affective, and evaluative characteristics. Although preclinical models have been used to understand much of pain physiology, the inability to communicate with animals limits affective and evaluative feedback, failing to adequately represent the entire pain experience. Therefore, this study sought to characterize the affective component of pain within an operant approach-avoidance paradigm (AAP) to determine which type of pain (inflammatory or neuropathic) may be more aversive. To reveal possible differences in pain aversiveness, animals received bilateral inflammatory and neuropathic pain conditions and were be given the choice to a) forgo appetitive reward by not receiving noxious stimulus of either inflammatory or neuropathic condition or b) receive noxious stimulus in exchange for appetitive reward. Pharmacological treatment was also assessed to reveal if selectively attenuating inflammatory or neuropathic pain via drug treatment could modulate or reverse approach-avoidance behaviors. The results revealed there was no preference in stimulation and no difference in latency to lever press and lever success rate to a specific paw in the bilateral pain condition. This suggests there was no difference in level of pain affect for neuropathic and inflammatory conditions. Pharmacological treatment of ketorolac and gabapentin did not affect measures in the AAP and modified place escape avoidance paradigm. This research may reveal important information regarding about the lack of hierarchical aversiveness of the two most common pain models.


Pain, Affect, Inflammatory, Neuropathic, Operant, Approach, Avoidance


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons