The hypothesis that dopamine (DA) receptor agonists and antagonists affect "hedonia" associated with natural rewards was tested, using a psychophysical procedure previously shown to be sensitive to both the sweetness of food and the motivational state of rats. Rats were first trained to discriminate between two different quantities of a rewarding stimulus by pressing one of two levers. Perceived quantity was subsequently derived from generalization trials of intermediate quantities. Haloperidol (0.03-0.083 mg/kg), a DA receptor antagonist, did not influence perceived food quantity, an indirect marker of hedonic value. On the other hand, d-amphetamine (0.25-1.0 mg/kg) affected perceived food quantity in a dose-dependent fashion, and in the same direction as occurs after increasing hunger or food sweetness. Both haloperidol and amphetamine influenced the perceived quantity of a stimulus without natural reinforcing properties (a tone), but the effect of amphetamine on the perceived quantity of this initially neutral stimulus was opposite in direction to that observed with food. These results suggest that whereas amphetamine affects hedonic processes, haloperidol does not. In addition, it seems that haloperidol probably produces its actions through effects on motor mechanisms or by interfering with the response-facilitating properties of rewards.