Welcome to AR Interview Session. Today we are with Prof. Shyngle Kolawole BALOGUN. Prof. Balogun is a Professor of Applied Social Psychology at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD in 1991 from University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Psychological Association, President and Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Social Psychologists and Editor in Chief, African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Prof. its a pleasure to have you on African Researchers Magazine.
Thank You !
Thank you, Prof. You recently published a work titled “Effects of separate and combined chronic ingestion of tramadol and codeine on aggressive behaviour among female albino rats” in “Covenant International Journal of Psychology” which has drawn allot of interest within the scholarly community and ours as well. Can you give a preamble of what the work is about?
Drug Abuse is predominant among the youths and this is common with the use of tramadol mixed with codeine “just to get high”. Not many were aware of the consequences of this act on general behaviour. You can not establish the facts of this antisocial behaviour by using human beings because of ethical consideration. The albino rats were then used to test the effects of these drugs singularly and in combination on aggressive behaviour of both genders (the female one was reported in the referred journal). The implication of this study was that the observed behaviours can be managed in human beings by eliminating the use of psychoactive drugs.
Thank you, sir. If I may ask; what existing problem did this study focus on solving?
The research focused on drug abuse/mis-use among adolescents/youths in the society. The trend in Nigeria, particularly among the youths; is the abusive use of tramadol and codeine. The research is in response to halting this trend through proper education and facts presentation. It was equally learnt that insurgents are adopting this drug abuse behavior, hence the need to study its effects in correlation to their aggressive tendencies.
How can the outcome be implemented to bring about the desired impact?
The “fight” against drug abuse, especially among the youths can only be won through education and information, and this was recommended. Control of the availability of these drugs across the counter by the government would go a long way in combating the menace of drug abuse in the society.
Can you tell us how the study was conducted?
Two weeks before the experiments, the rats were randomly assigned to one of five groups, and were exposed to preliminary experimental conditions to familiarize them with the experimenter and the conditions of the laboratory. During this period, the rats were provided with their feed and water without any form of deprivation. The rats were then randomly assigned into 5 groups, the Codeine group, the tramadol group, the Combined group, the Control group and the last, the intruder group. The study took 28 days, in which the rats in the experimental group were exposed to the drugs (oral ingestion of the drugs). Each cage was clearly labeled with drug category. Rats were also marked for identification- rats in each cage are labeled 1 to 6. The resident-intruder paradigm was used. It is a method of studying or observing aggressive behavior which introduces an intruder rat to the resident rat. At the start of the experiment each day, all the rats were weighed and weights were matched against the drug chart to obtain the exact volume of drug to be administered. The drug chart is a table drawn out, containing the volume of drugs to be administered per respective weight of rats. The dosage of drugs was adjusted every week according to any change in body weight. The data collection does not begin until 30 minutes after drug administration. This time gap allows for proper and effective assimilation of the drugs into their system. During the first 30 minutes post drug administration, food and water was withdrawn from all the cages.
When the 30 minutes was up, one rat from the experimental group was placed in a clear experimental cage and an intruder rat was introduced. The behavior of the resident rat is observed and data is collected over a 5-minute period. The behaviors taken into consideration were dominant posture, scratching, and biting. These behaviours were recorded with a recording sheet marking the number of times the experimental rat exhibits any of the behaviors. After 5 minutes, both the experimental rat and the intruder rat were removed from the experimental cage and returned to their respective cages. The process was repeated for all the remaining rats in all of the experimental cages Codeine, Tramadol, Combined – and then the control group. This same procedure was repeated for two more trials, equaling three trials done every day for 28 days. On each day of the experiment, the following including regular feeding were carried out:
- Weighing of each rat
- Oral administration of drugs
- Observation of the dominant postures, scratching and biting.
Thank you, Prof. In a layman’s language kindly tell us the findings of the study
Rats treated with Tramadol alone were more aggressive than others, followed by codeine alone treated, but those treated with a combined drug (Codeine and Tramadol) were least aggressive, contrary to expectation.
Summary Bonferonni mean comparison analysis showing the mean difference between aggressive behavior of female albino rats ingested with different drugs.
|*. The mean difference is significant at the .05 level.
b. Adjustment for multiple comparisons: Bonferroni.
So, what can our readers take home from the findings of this study?
Drugs like codeine and tramadol increase aggressive tendency, especially among females as demonstrated in this study.
That’s very interesting! Who are the contributors to this study?
I, Prof. Shyngle K. BALOGUN, Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I designed, collected data and conceptualized the study and submitted the final draft.
Dr. Jackson I. OSUH, Department of Psychology, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Nigeria, provided technical assistance in set up of laboratory and extensive literature search, wrote the first draft.
Miss. Grace OLOREDE, Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Collected data, partial literature search, maintenance of the environment, and general errands.
How many days did it take you (and your team) to carry out the entire study?
14 days of acclimatization by the rats in the laboratory, and 28 days of experiment proper, totaling 42 days in all.
Thank you, Prof., how many days did it take you (and your team) to write the manuscript?
Three (3) weeks trying to update literature on the one hand and buffering the discussion aspects of the paper
What was your experience while reporting the study?
The experience was rewarding in that we were engaged in argument back and forth. In addition, when the reviewers’ report came back, it appeared that he/she/they did not understand much about experimental psychology, and so engaged them in some comments with facts to back these up
Interesting! Was the entire research conducted within your institution’s facilities (e.g. laboratory etc)?
Yes, it was conducted in one of the laboratories in my institution.
How did this impact the study in terms of cost?
Apart from housing the study and the cages where the rats were kept, every other thing were personally sponsored, that is; rat feeds, drugs, cannula, weighing machine, personal refrigerator to keep the drugs, gloves and so on
Thank you for time so far. Where there any form of funding for this study?
There was no funding at all, funding was personally done as in most cases in some Nigerian Universities.
How would have funding helped to further the study?
Funding would have helped in increasing the number of rats used, reduce cost of feeding and extend days because the larger the number and days, the more reliable the data could have been. We worked with minimal requirements in all areas.
Prof., What challenges did you face while conducting this study (besides funding)?
Location of the laboratory, on the fifth floor with no lift, was very tasking as we have to be cleaning and evacuating twice daily for proper environmental hygiene.
How did you manage to surmount them?
We endured, that’s all.
Lovely! As a follow up question, what mentorship (advice) would you give to a young researcher who wants to conduct a similar study in the future?
Perseverance, focus and dedication as taking care of the rats is very demanding
Thank you so much, now to publishing the paper. What prompted you to submit this paper to Covenant International Journal of Psychology for publication?
Nothing special apart from being interested in the outlet
Please, can you share your publishing experience with this publisher?
It was a smooth and rewarding experience in terms of promptness in feedback and openness to superior argument in issues raised along the line of review.
How would you rate the review and publication process, in a Likert scale of 10?
I would rate it 8/10
May I ask of your preference between Open Access (Author pays) and Closed Access (Readers pays) publications?
I am not particular about this. While open Access would increase visibility and encourage more people to publish, some outlets are only motivated to adopt this method just to make money off researchers. On the other hand, if readers pay as in closed access, you limit accessibility to researchers who might be interested in an article but may not be able to pay for such. Besides, it may allow for many junks being sent in thereby putting burden on editors. As for Covenant International Journal of Psychology, the status quo should remain. Like I said, I enjoyed the review process in my own case.
Thank you for your time. We appreciate your contribution to the advancement of African research and its literature. We look forward to having you share another research experience with us.
Link to the published study: