ABSTRACT: We describe a touchscreen method that satisfies a proposed 'wish-list' of desirables for a cognitive testing method for assessing rodent models of schizophrenia. A number of tests relevant to schizophrenia research are described which are currently being developed and validated using this method. These tests can be used to study reward learning, memory, perceptual discrimination, object-place associative learning, attention, impulsivity, compulsivity, extinction, simple Pavlovian conditioning, and other constructs. The tests can be deployed using a 'flexible battery' approach to establish a cognitive profile for a particular mouse or rat model. We have found these tests to be capable of detecting not just impairments in function, but enhancements as well, which is essential for testing putative cognitive therapies. New tests are being continuously developed, many of which may prove particularly valuable for schizophrenia research.
Neuropharmacology 04/2011; 62(3):1191-203. · 4.81 Impact Factor