Assessing unit-price related remifentanil choice in rhesus monkeys

Chad M. Galuska, Gail Winger, Steven R. Hursh, James H. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given a commodity available at different prices, a unit-price account of choice predicts preference for the cheaper alternative. This experiment determined if rhesus monkeys preferred remifentanil (an ultra-short-acting μ-opioid agonist) delivered at a lower unit price over a higher-priced remifentanil alternative (Phases 1 and 3). Choice between equal-priced alternatives also was assessed (Phase 2). A discrete-trials procedure was arranged in which three monkeys chose between two remifentanil alternatives by responding on one of two levers. Different prices were arranged by manipulating drug dose (0.3 and 0.1 μg/kg/injection) and/or the ratio requirement. Monkeys usually chose the larger-dose alternative even when it was more expensive. Only when unit prices were relatively high (e.g., large response requirements) did monkeys choose the cheaper (or equally priced) smaller-dose alternative. Employing larger doses (0.9 and 0.3 μg/kg/injection) attenuated the larger-dose preference. The results demonstrate that choice was not determined simply by unit price. An alternative model that employs demand-function analysis to generate choice predictions is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-195
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Behavioral economics
  • Choice
  • Drug self-administration
  • Lever press
  • Remifentanil
  • Rhesus monkey
  • Unit price

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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