The touchscreen operant platform for assessing executive function in rats and mice.
Mar AC., Horner AE., Nilsson SRO., Alsiö J., Kent BA., Kim CH., Holmes A., Saksida LM., Bussey TJ.
This protocol details a subset of assays developed within the touchscreen platform to measure various aspects of executive function in rodents. Three main procedures are included: extinction, measuring the rate and extent of curtailing a response that was previously, but is no longer, associated with reward; reversal learning, measuring the rate and extent of switching a response toward a visual stimulus that was previously not, but has become, associated with reward (and away from a visual stimulus that was previously, but is no longer, rewarded); and the 5-choice serial reaction time (5-CSRT) task, gauging the ability to selectively detect and appropriately respond to briefly presented, spatially unpredictable visual stimuli. These protocols were designed to assess both complementary and overlapping constructs including selective and divided visual attention, inhibitory control, flexibility, impulsivity and compulsivity. The procedures comprise part of a wider touchscreen test battery assessing cognition in rodents with high potential for translation to human studies.