Skip to main content

Baseline reversal performance prior to cocaine administration in marmoset monkeys

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • H. Stepp
  • A. M. Belcher
  • E. A. Stein


Cognitive flexibility, a critical feature of executive function, can be impaired by chronic cocaine, as demonstrated by findings that exposed humans and animals show deficits in performance of tasks that require changing behavior to match updates in learned reward values. Additionally, recent evidence suggests that cocaine-addicted individuals show differences in the functional connectivity of several resting-state brain networks. The ultimate goal of this research is to evaluate the impact of long-term cocaine administration on cognitive performance, and to observe whether the expected cocaine-induced cognitive changes are reflected by parallel changes in brain connectivity. Here we report preliminary findings of baseline cognitive performance of four healthy, male marmoset monkeys trained to perform a simple two-stimulus discrimination and reversal task. Marmosets were trained to work for sugar-sweetened liquid reward using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) touchscreen apparatus. Baseline performance was established by counting errors and trials to criterion. After the initial shaping phase, all marmosets learned to perform a discrimination set at 85% criterion within 40 sessions. Future research will use baselines established here to examine the effects of cocaine on cognitive performance, and to explore potential neural correlates of these behavioral changes in functional brain networks.

back to top