Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Second Department or Program
Matthew R. Kelley
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.
King, Abagayle L., "Chronic Administration of Nicotine Does Not Improve Cognitive Flexibility in an Attentional Set-Shifting Paradigm" (2019). Senior Theses.
Available for download on Wednesday, May 04, 2022