Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task

Turner, Karly M., Peak, James and Burne, Thomas H. J. (2016) Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9 370: 1-10. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00370


Author Turner, Karly M.
Peak, James
Burne, Thomas H. J.
Title Measuring attention in rodents: comparison of a modified signal detection task and the 5-choice serial reaction time task
Journal name Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1662-5153
Publication date 2016-01-14
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00370
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 370
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Neuropsychiatric research has utilized cognitive testing in rodents to improve our understanding of cognitive deficits and for preclinical drug development. However, more sophisticated cognitive tasks have not been as widely exploited due to low throughput and the extensive training time required. We developed a modified signal detection task (SDT) based on the growing body of literature aimed at improving cognitive testing in rodents. This study directly compares performance on the modified SDT with a traditional test for measuring attention, the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were trained on either the 5CSRTT or the SDT. Briefly, the 5CSRTT required rodents to pay attention to a spatial array of five apertures and respond with a nose poke when an aperture was illuminated. The SDT required the rat to attend to a light panel and respond either left or right to indicate the presence of a signal. In addition, modifications were made to the reward delivery, timing, control of body positioning, and the self-initiation of trials. It was found that less training time was required for the SDT, with both sessions to criteria and daily session duration significantly reduced. Rats performed with a high level of accuracy (>87%) on both tasks, however omissions were far more frequent on the 5CSRTT. The signal duration was reduced on both tasks as a manipulation of task difficulty relevant to attention and a similar pattern of decreasing accuracy was observed on both tasks. These results demonstrate some of the advantages of the SDT over the traditional 5CSRTT as being higher throughput with reduced training time, fewer omission responses and their body position was controlled at stimulus onset. In addition, rats performing the SDT had comparable high levels of accuracy. These results highlight the differences and similarities between the 5CSRTT and a modified SDT as tools for assessing attention in preclinical animal models.
Keyword Attention
Cognition
Behavior
Animal models
Signal detection
5CSRTT
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
 
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