Class Year

2019

Date

4-23-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Distinguished Thesis

yes

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

Neuroscience

Second Department or Program

Psychology

First Advisor

Jean-Marie Maddux

Second Advisor

Matthew R. Kelley

Third Advisor

Katy Reedy

Abstract

The attentional set-shifting task (ASST) measures cognitive flexibility in rats. Studies demonstrate that nicotine administration before testing improves performance; however, no studies have examined a chronic pre-treatment effect. To assess this, 14 daily nicotine (0.4 mg/kg) or saline injections were given, and tests were conducted drugfree. Due to reports of neuroplastic changes induced by repeated nicotine administration, this regimen was predicted to improve performance; however, this effect was not demonstrated. A locomotor activity control experiment was conducted to determine if nicotine had an effect in a separate behavioral paradigm. A subset of the pre-treated rats were given a nicotine injection and observed for locomotor activity. In agreement with previous studies, nicotine naïve rats demonstrated less activity than nicotine tolerant rats. Nicotine therefore had a behavioral effect in a paradigm separate from the ASST, suggesting nicotine must be present at test in the ASST to enhance behavior.

Language

English

Available for download on Wednesday, May 04, 2022


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