Assessing the nature of premature responses in the rodent continuous performance test variable intertrial interval schedule using atomoxetine and amphetamine

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Background: Rodent operant tests that include premature responses (PR) as a measure of impulsivity commonly use variable intertrial interval (vITI) schedules. The rodent continuous performance test (rCPT) is suitable for a vITI schedule.New Method: We optimised the analysis for a rCPT vITI schedule with intertrial intervals (ITIs) of 3, 6, and 12 s. Examining the nature of first (FiT) and following touches (FoT) to the blank screen led to a separate quantifi-cation of these two behaviours into the first touches level (%FiT) and the following-to-first touches ratio (FoT/ FiT).Results: FiTs occurred more frequently in the 12 s ITIs than at shorter ITIs. Within 12 s ITIs, %FiT was only moderately higher during the last half than the first half, suggesting that long ITIs have a minimal effect on impulsivity, but allow a longer time for its detection. %FiT and the FoT/FiT ratio were uncorrelated. %FiT was negatively correlated with response criterion (C) and uncorrelated with discriminability. Conversely, FoT/FiT ratio was negatively correlated with discriminability, without correlation to C. Atomoxetine decreased %FiT but did not affect FoT/FiT ratio. Amphetamine increased %FiT and decreased the FoT/FiT ratio.Comparison with Existing Method(s): The results suggest that %FiT is analogous to %PR in related tasks and is a more suitable measure of waiting impulsivity in the rCPT. FoT/FiT ratio is unrelated to %FiT. Conclusions: Long ITIs increase the detectability of, but has minimal effect on, waiting impulsivity. %FiT is analogous to %PR in related tasks, while the FoT/FiT ratio is a separate behaviour requiring further characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109749
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Variable inter-trial interval, Rodent continuous performance test, Impulsivity, Premature response, Atomoxetine, Amphetamine, REACTION-TIME-TASK, ATTENTIONAL PERFORMANCE, DISTINCT FORMS, TEST RCPT, IMPULSIVITY, RATS, LESIONS, ADHD, METHYLPHENIDATE, STIMULANTS

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