Development of a novel rodent rapid serial visual presentation task reveals dissociable effects of stimulant versus nonstimulant treatments on attentional processes

Abigail Benn, Emma S J Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) task and continuous performance tasks (CPT) are used to assess attentional impairments in patients with psychiatric and neurological conditions. This study developed a novel touchscreen task for rats based on the structure of a human RSVP task and used pharmacological manipulations to investigate their effects on different performance measures. Normal animals were trained to respond to a target image and withhold responding to distractor images presented within a continuous sequence. In a second version of the task, a false-alarm image was included, so performance could be assessed relative to two types of nontarget distractors. The effects of acute administration of stimulant and nonstimulant treatments for ADHD (amphetamine and atomoxetine) were tested in both tasks. Methylphenidate, ketamine, and nicotine were tested in the first task only. Amphetamine made animals more impulsive and decreased overall accuracy but increased accuracy when the target was presented early in the image sequence. Atomoxetine improved accuracy overall with a specific reduction in false-alarm responses and a shift in the attentional curve reflecting improved accuracy for targets later in the image sequence. However, atomoxetine also slowed responding and increased omissions. Ketamine, nicotine, and methylphenidate had no specific effects at the doses tested. These results suggest that stimulant versus nonstimulant treatments have different effects on attention and impulsive behaviour in this rat version of an RSVP task. These results also suggest that RSVP-like tasks have the potential to be used to study attention in rodents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351–367
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume24
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s).

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a novel rodent rapid serial visual presentation task reveals dissociable effects of stimulant versus nonstimulant treatments on attentional processes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this