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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

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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Date Created
  • 2014

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Spatial pavlovian conditioning

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Three experiments used a spatial serial conditioning paradigm to assess the effectiveness of spatially informative conditioned stimuli in eliciting tracking behavior in pigeons. The experimental paradigm consisted of the simultaneous

Three experiments used a spatial serial conditioning paradigm to assess the effectiveness of spatially informative conditioned stimuli in eliciting tracking behavior in pigeons. The experimental paradigm consisted of the simultaneous presentation of 2 key lights (CS2 and CTRL), followed by another key light (CS1), followed by food (the unconditioned stimulus or US). CS2 and CTRL were presented in 2 of 3 possible locations, randomly assigned; CS1 was always presented in the same location as CS2. CS2 was designed to signal the spatial, but not the temporal locus of CS1; CS1 signaled the temporal locus of the US. In Experiment 1, differential pecking on CS2 was observed even when CS2 was present throughout the interval between CS1s, but only in a minority of pigeons. A control condition verified that pecking on CS2 was not due to temporal proximity between CS2 and US. Experiment 2 demonstrated the reversibility of spatial conditioning between CS2 and CTRL. Asymptotic performance never involved tracking CTRL more than CS2 for any of 16 pigeons. It is inferred that pigeons learned the spatial association between CS2 and CS1, and that temporal contingency facilitated its expression as tracking behavior. In a third experiment, with pigeons responding to a touchscreen monitor, differential responding to CS2 was observed only when CS2 disambiguated the location of a random CS1. When the presentation location of CS1 was held constant, no differences in responding to CS2 or CTRL were observed.

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Date Created
  • 2011