Scopolamine alters rhesus monkey performance on a novel neuropsychological test battery

Michael A. Taffe, Michael Riley Weed, Lisa H. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Rhesus monkeys (6) were trained on a test battery including cognitive tests adapted from a human neuropsychological assessment battery (CANTAB; CeNeS, Cambridge, UK) as well as a bimanual motor skill task. The complete battery included tests of memory (delayed non-match to sample, DNMS; self- ordered spatial search, SOSS), reaction time (RT), motivation (progressive ratio; PR) and fine motor coordination (bimanual). The animals were trained to asymptotic performance in all tasks and then were administered two of the four CANTAB tasks on alternate weekdays (PR/SWM; DNMS/RT) with the bimanual task being administered on each weekday. The effect of acute administration of scopolamine (3-24 μg/kg, i.m.) on performance was then determined. Although performance on DNMS was impaired there was no interaction of drug treatment with retention interval, suggesting that scopolamine does not increase the rate of forgetting in this task. Scopolamine administration produced a decrement in SOSS performance that was dependent on task difficulty as well as dose. Scopolamine also impaired motor responses, resulting in increased time required to complete the bimanual motor task and increased movement time in the RT task. Performance in the PR task was decreased in a dose-dependent fashion by scopolamine. The results suggest that scopolamine interferes with memory storage and motor responses but not memory retention/retrieval or vigilance. The findings demonstrate that the test battery is useful for distinguishing the effects of neuropharmacological manipulation on various aspects of cognitive performance in monkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-212
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 25 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Reaction time
  • Rhesus monkey
  • Scopolamine
  • Spatial working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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