Scopolamine increases perseveration in mice subjected to the detour test

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Abstract

Increased perseveration is associated with aging and leads to an impaired ability to cope with problems. Aging is also associated with progressing dysfunction of the cholinergic system which is involved in the regulation of various cognitive processes. Therefore, we tested an effect of an anticholinergic drug on the level of perseveration in mice subjected to the detour test. The subjects tested on this task are expected to disengage from visually guided behavior and to move around a transparent barrier instead of traveling to the target directly along the line of sight. The failure to inhibit prepotent motivational drive leads to perseveration during the task. Our experiment showed that scopolamine increased perseveration in mice and this finding points to the involvement of muscarinic receptors in the control of perseveration. This study also shows that a mouse detour task is a suitable model for detecting the effect of anticholinergic drugs on perseveration in contrast to the previously applied tests.

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