Depletion of Cortical Norepinephrine in Rats by 6-Hydroxydopamine Does Not Impair Performance of a Delayed-Nonmatching-to-Sample Task

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Rats were trained on a spatial delayed-nonmatching-to-sample (DNMTS) task, matched for performance, and randomly assigned to treatment with dorsal noradrenergic bundle injections of either 6-hydroxydopamine, to deplete cortical norepinephrine (NE), or vehicle, to control for the effects of surgery. After recovery, there were no significant differences between the groups when retrained on the DNMTS task at retention intervals (RI) from 0.1 to 15.0 s. Furthermore, no differences were observed when rats were trained at a 6.0-s RI filled with distracting stimuli or when dummy information runs were added to increase proactive interference. These results demonstrate that depletion of cortical NE cannot account for the DNMTS performance deficits observed in rats recovered from pyrithiamine-induced thiamine deficiency (Knoth & Mair, 1991; Robinson & Mair, 1992).

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