Effects of GABA modulators on the repeated acquisition of response sequences in squirrel monkeys.

The present study investigated the effects of positive and negative GABA(A) modulators under three different baselines of repeated acquisition in squirrel monkeys in which the monkeys acquired a three-response sequence on three keys under a second-order fixed-ratio (FR) schedule of food reinforcement. In two of these baselines, the second-order FR schedule and the discriminative stimuli for the response sequence were manipulated ("chain-strained" and "tandem-strained"). In the third baseline condition, response-independent tail shock was presented during acquisition of the response sequence. All of these baselines maintained high error levels and produced slow rates of acquisition. Under both the chain-strained and tandem-strained conditions, the positive GABA(A) modulator triazolam (0.0032-0.1 mg/kg) and the negative GABA(A) modulators beta-CCE (ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate; 0.01-1 mg/kg), beta-CCM (methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate; 0.0032-0.1 mg/kg), and FG-7142 (methyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxamide; 0.18-10 mg/kg) dose-dependently decreased overall response rate compared to administration of saline (control). Under the same two conditions, triazolam and the negative GABA(A) modulators also increased the percentage of errors; however, the effects on accuracy frequently depended on the baseline condition and the particular modulator. In contrast, triazolam only decreased errors and enhanced acquisition in the presence of concurrent response-independent tail shock when compared to saline administration under this condition. The neutral GABA(A) modulator, flumazenil (1 mg/kg), had no effect on rate or accuracy of responding when administered alone, but antagonized the rate-decreasing and error-increasing effects produced by the negative GABA(A) modulators. Together, these data suggest that the effects of both the positive and negative GABAA modulators on acquisition can be similar in squirrel monkeys (i.e., both types of modulator may produce rate-decreasing and error-increasing effects) and that their effects on acquisition depend, in part, on the environmental conditions maintaining acquisition.
AuthorsUna C Campbell, Peter J Winsauer, Michael W Stevenson, Joseph M Moerschbaecher
JournalJournal of the experimental analysis of behavior (J Exp Anal Behav) Vol. 82 Issue 1 Pg. 37-56 (Jul 2004) ISSN: 0022-5002 [Print] United States
PMID15484870 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • GABA Modulators
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Discrimination Learning (drug effects)
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • GABA Modulators (administration & dosage, pharmacology)
  • Injections
  • Reinforcement (Psychology)
  • Reinforcement Schedule
  • Saimiri

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