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J Psychopharmacol. 2013 Nov;27(11):1023-31. doi: 10.1177/0269881113503503. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Attenuation of acute d-amphetamine-induced disruption of conflict resolution by clozapine, but not α-flupenthixol in rats.

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1School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Previous research demonstrates that disruption of forebrain dopamine systems impairs the use of high-order information to guide goal-directed performance, and that this deficit may be related to impaired use of task-setting cues in patients with schizophrenia. Such deficits can be interrogated through conflict resolution, which has been demonstrated to be sensitive to prefrontal integrity in rodents. We sought to examine the effects of acute systemic d-amphetamine administration on the contextual control of response conflict in rats, and whether deficits were reversed through pre-treatment with clozapine or the D₁/D₂ antagonist α-flupenthixol. Acute d-amphetamine (1.5 mg/kg) disrupted the utilisation of contextual cues; therefore rats were impaired during presentation of stimulus compounds that require conflict resolution. Evidence suggested that this effect was attenuated through pre-treatment with the atypical antipsychotic clozapine (5.0 mg/kg), but not the typical antipsychotic α-flupenthixol (0.25 mg/kg), at doses previously shown to attenuate d-amphetamine-induced cognitive deficits. These studies therefore demonstrate a potentially viable model of disrupted executive function such as that seen in schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia; clozapine; context; d-amphetamine; dopamine; instrumental behaviour; response conflict; α-flupenthixol

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