Signal detection analysis was used to examine the effects of scopolamine, amphetamine, and physostigmine on a brightness discrimination task. Four groups of rats were exposed to different reinforcement contingencies for correct responses in the presence of S+ stimuli and correct response failures in the presence of S- stimuli. Under non-drug conditions, orderly signal detection data were obtained with the group design. Contrary to a disinhibition hypothesis of cholinergic effects, scopolamine disrupted stimulus sensitivity and not response bias, but only when the discrimination was difficult. Drugs did not affect sensitivity of an earlier, simpler discrimination. The drug effects on response tendency for this simple discrimination task were difficult to interpret.
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.
Appel J, Dykstra L (1977) Drugs, discrimination, and signal detection theory. In: Thompson T, Dews P (eds) Advances in behavioral pharmacology, vol 1. Academic Press, New York, pp 140–166
Brown K, Warburton D (1971) Attenuation of stimulus sensitivity by scopolamine. Psychonom Sci 22:297–298
Carlton P (1963) Cholinergic mechanisms in the control of behavior by the brain. Psychol Rev 70:19–39
Carlton P (1969) Brain acetylcholine and inhibition. In: Tapp JT (ed) Reinforcement and behavior. Academic Press, New York, pp 286–327
Dykstra L, Appel J (1974) Effects of LSD on auditory perception: A signal detection analysis. Psychopharmacologia 34:289–307
Frey PW, Colliver JA (1973) Sensitivity and responsivity measures for discrimination learning. Learn Motiv 4:327–342
Green D, Swets J (1966) Signal detection theory and psychophysics. Wiley, New York
Grier J (1971) Nonparametric indexes for sensitivity and bias: Computing formulas. Psychol Bull 75:424–429
Heise GA (1975) Discrete trial analysis of drug action. Fed Proc 34: 1898–1903
Heise GA, Lilie N (1970) Effects of scopolamine, atropine, and d-amphetamine on internal and external control of responding on non-reinforced trials. Psychopharmacologia 18:38–49
Kelleher R, Morse W (1968) Determinants of the specificity of behavioral effects of drugs. Ergeb Physiol 60:1–56
Ksir C (1975) Scopolamine and amphetamine effects on discrimination: Interaction with stimulus control. Psychopharmacologia 43:37–41
Laties V, Weiss B (1966) Influence of drugs on behavior controlled by internal and external stimuli. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 152:388–396
Martin R, Conner R (1975) Computer control for operant oriented laboratories. Behav Res Methods Instrum 7:151–156
Milar K, Halgren C, Heise G (1978) A reappraisal of scopolamine effects on inhibition. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 9:307–313
Robbins T, Iversen S (1973) Amphetamine-induced disruption of temporal discrimination of response disinhibition. Nature (New Biol) 245:191–192
Swets J (1973) The relative operating characteristic in psychology. Science 182:990–1000
Warburton D (1972) The cholinergic control of internal inhibition. In: Boakes RA, Halliday MS (eds) Inhibition and learning. Academic Press, New York, pp 431–458
Warburton D,(1974) The effects of scopolamine on a two-cue discrimination. Q J Exp Psychol 26:275–284
Warburton D, Brown K (1972) The facilitation of discrimination performance by physostigmine sulphate. Psychopharmacologia 33: 275–284
About this article
Cite this article
Milar, K.S. Cholinergic drug effects on visual discriminations: A signal detection analysis. Psychopharmacology 74, 383–388 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00432753
- Signal detection
- Visual discrimination