Repeated acquisition and the assessment of centrally acting compounds.

Abstract

Repeated acquisition (RA) procedures are behavioral preparations in which subjects learn new sequences of responses during each experimental session. They have been used with great success to assess the effects of drugs and other compounds on learning processes. As learning can be measured over many sessions in individual subjects, RA procedures can prove invaluable when conducting studies of the effects of chronic drug administration, aging and the long-term effects of exposure to toxic compounds. Analyzing the patterns of responding during acquisition can provide insights into the behavioral mechanisms underlying the effects of drugs and other centrally acting compounds on learning. Systematic comparisons are needed on the influence of many procedural variables on RA and the extent to which they may modulate the effects of chemicals.

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