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Contributing to a meta-analysis on the effects of acute physical exercise on the executive functions of preadolescent children, adolescents and adults

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The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts

The purpose of this study, originally, was to contribute to the completion of a meta-analysis conducted by Mara Wierstra from the University of Virginia. Wierstra had requested individual participant data from two separate studies conducted in our lab: "Acute bouts of assisted cycling improves cognitive and upper extremity movement functions in adolescents with Down syndrome" and "Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) improves inhibition in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder." From the data requested, the participants were required to complete three separate tests (i.e., Tower of London, Trail Making Task and the Stroop Test). After compiling the data and sending it to her, we decided to conduct a small meta-analysis of our own, drawing connecting conclusions from the data from the two studies. We concluded that observationally our data suggest an advantage for ACT over voluntary cycling and no cycling across two separate populations (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome), and across different measures of executive function (i.e., Stroop Test, Trail Making Test, and Tower of London). The data suggest that the ACT interventions may promote the upregulation of neurotropic factors leading to neurogenesis in the prefrontal cortex of the brain.

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2016-12

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The effects of housing conditions and methylphenidate on two volitional inhibition tasks

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The failure to withhold inappropriate behavior is a central component of most impulse control disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The present study examined the effects of housing environment and methylphenidate (a drug often prescribed for ADHD) on the

The failure to withhold inappropriate behavior is a central component of most impulse control disorders, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The present study examined the effects of housing environment and methylphenidate (a drug often prescribed for ADHD) on the performance of rats in two response inhibition tasks: differential reinforcement of low rate (DRL) and fixed minimum interval (FMI). Both tasks required rats to wait a fixed amount of time (6 s) before emitting a reinforced response. The capacity to withhold the target response (volitional inhibition) and timing precision were estimated on the basis of performance in each of the tasks. Paradoxically, rats housed in a mildly enriched environment that included a conspecific displayed less volitional inhibition in both tasks compared to rats housed in an isolated environment. Enriched housing, however, increased timing precision. Acute administration of methylphenidate partially reversed the effects of enriched housing. Implications of these results in the assessment and treatment of ADHD-related impulsivity are discussed.

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2011

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Effects of nicotine on response inhibition and fos activation in spontaneously hypertensive and wistar kyoto Rats

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Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and early initiation is associated with greater difficulty quitting. Among adolescent smokers, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by difficulties associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention,

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and early initiation is associated with greater difficulty quitting. Among adolescent smokers, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by difficulties associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, smoke at nearly twice the rate of their peers. Although cigarette smoking is highly addictive, nicotine is a relatively weak primary reinforcer, spurring research on other potential targets that may maintain smoking, including the potential benefits of nicotine on attention, inhibition, and reinforcer efficacy. The present study employs the most prevalent rodent model of ADHD, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and its control comparison Wistar Kyoto (WKY) to examine the effects of acute and chronic subcutaneous nicotine injections on performance in three operant response inhibition paradigms. Functional activation in select regions of the prefrontal cortex and striatum was also explored. Acute (0.1, 0.3, 0.6 mg/kg) and chronic (0.3 mg/kg) nicotine increased impulsive responding regardless of strain, dose, or operant schedule. Dose-dependent decreases in latency to initiate the task were also observed. SHR receiving daily nicotine injections showed less activation in the nucleus accumbens shell compared to saline controls. Despite close similarities, one of the three operant tasks did not detect response inhibition deficits in SHR relative to WKY. A closer examination of these tasks may highlight critical components involved in the amelioration of response inhibition deficits.

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2014