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Brain Res. 2013 Nov 6;1537:174-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2013.09.012. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Assessment of attention in male and female Brattleboro rats using a self-paced five-choice serial reaction time task.

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Psychology Department, Northern Michigan University, Gries Hall, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855, USA.


The Brattleboro rat is a mutant variation of the Long-Evans strain that exhibits negligible central nervous system levels of vasopressin, a neuropeptide that may influence behavioral and cognitive processes. Compared to Long-Evans rats, Brattleboro rats exhibit diminished fear conditioning and have impairments in spatial memory and sensory gating. The present study sought to further evaluate the cognitive profile of vasopressin-deficient rats by studying attention in male and female Brattleboro and heterozygous rats using a self-paced version of the five-choice serial reaction time task. Male Brattleboro rats required significantly more sessions to meet the training criteria than those by heterozygotic and Long-Evans (wild type) rats. Female Brattleboro rats displayed significantly poorer attention accuracy compared to heterozygotic and Long-Evans rats. Taken together, the present findings add further evidence that vasopressin deficiency diminishes cognitive functioning.


Attention; Brattleboro rat; Cognition; Five-choice serial reaction time task; Vasopressin

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