The home-cage activity of three inbred strains of mice was observed as a function of dosage of strychnine sulphate. Five kinds of activity were measured, but generally the drug effect was clear only for the sum of the measures. The effect of increasing dosage was to linearily reduce the activity measured. Oxygen uptake of the mice was recorded during the period that activity was scored, and it was found that the oxygen consumption did not decrease with increasing dosage as did overt activity, but in fact increased for two of the strains.
The general conclusions was that strychnine does reduce home-cage activity in mice, but that this change is probably not a necessary condition for effects of the drug on learning.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Bradley, K., D. M. Easton, and J. C. Eccles: An investigation of primary and direct inhibition. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 122, 474–488 (1953).
—, and J. C. Eccles: Strychnine as a depressant of primary inhibition. Nature (Lond.) 171, 1061–1063 (1953).
Chalazontis, N.: Strychnine effects on excitatory and inhibitory processes in identifiable nerve cells. Fed. Proc. 21, 361 (Abstract) (1962).
Curtis, D. P.: Pharmacological investigations upon inhibition of spiral motoneurones. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 145, 175–192 (1959).
—: The depression of spinal inhibition by electrophoretically administered strychnine. Int. J. Neuropharmacol. 1, 239–250 (1962).
Dews, P. B.: The measurement of the influence of drugs on voluntary activity in mice. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 8, 46–48 (1953).
Edwards, A. E.: Experimental design in psychological research. Rev. Ed. New York: Rinehart and Co., Inc. 1960.
Goodman, L. S., and A. Gilman: The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. New York: MacMillan 1955.
Grollman, A.: Pharmacology and therapeutics. 5th Ed. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger 1962.
Lashley, K. S.: The effects of strychnine and caffeine upon rate of learning. Psychobiol. 1, 141–169 (1917).
McGaugh, J. L.: Facilitative and disruptive effects of strychnine sulphate on mazelearning. Psychol. Rep. 8, 99–104 (1961).
—, and L. Petrinovich: The effect of strychnine sulphate on maze-learning. Amer. J. Psychol. 72, 99–102 (1959).
— —: Comments concerning the basis of learning enhancement with central nervous system stimulants. Psychol. Rep. 12, 211–214 (1963).
—, C. W. Thomson, W. H. Westbrook, and W. J. Hudspeth: A further study of learning facilitation with strychnine sulphate. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 3, 352–360 (1962).
Petrinovich, L.: Facilitation of successive discrimination learning by strychnine sulphate. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 4, 103–113 (1963).
Purpura, D. P., and H. Grundfest: Nature of dentritic potentials and synaptic mechanisms in cerebral cortex of cat. J. Neurophysiol. 19, 573–595 (1956).
Rahmann, H.: Einfluß des Pervitins auf Gedächtnisleistungen, Verhaltensweisen und einige physiologische Funktionen von Goldhamstern. Pflügers Arch. ges. Physiol. 273, 247–263 (1961).
Rensch, R., u. H. Rahmann: Einfluß des Pervitins auf das Gedächtnis von Goldhamstern. Pflügers Arch. ges. Physiol. 271, 693–704 (1960).
Sherrington, C.: The integrative action of the nervous system. New Haven: Yale University Press 1906.
Thiessen, D. D., K. Schlesinger, and W. H. Calhoun: Better learning: Neural enhancement or reduced interference? Psychol. Rep. 9, 493–496 (1961).
Walker, E. L.: Action decrement and its relation to learning. Psychol. Rev. 65, 129–142 (1958).
This research was done in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and was supported in part by Fellowships MPM-15, 878 and F1 MN-15,878-02 awarded by the National Institute of Mental Health, United States Public Health Service. Special appreciation goes to Gerald E. McClearn.
About this article
Cite this article
Calhoun, W.H. The effect of strychnine sulphate on the home cage activity and oxygen consumption in three inbred strains of mice. Psychopharmacologia 8, 227–234 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00405020
- Oxygen Consumption
- Oxygen Uptake