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Brain Res. 1996 Mar 4;711(1-2):102-11.

Effects of infusion of cholinergic drugs into the prefrontal cortex area on delayed matching to position performance in the rat.

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CNS-Pharmacology, DA Weesp, The Netherlands.


Rats trained on a Delayed Matching To Position (DMTP) task displayed mediating behavior during delays to solve the task. Infusion of the cholinergic antagonist scopolamine into the medial Prefrontal Cortex area (mPFC), dose dependently impaired performance independent of delay. These results indicate that scopolamine does not specifically affect working memory. Infusion of the cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine, muscarinic subtype receptor antagonists, the dopamine (D1) antagonist SCH23390, and of the GABA-A receptor antagonist bicuculline, did not affect performance in the DMTP task. In a post-hoc analysis scopolamine was found to impair discriminability in a delay-dependent manner only in animals that used mediating behavior in the majority of the trials. Furthermore, a time sampling method indicated that scopolamine infusions into the mPFC disrupted mediating behavior during the task. Results suggest that cholinergic systems in the mPFC play a role in directing attention to task relevant behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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