Delayed Matching-to-Sample in Monkeys as a Model for Learning and Memory Deficits: Role of Brain Nicotinic Receptors

  • William J. Jackson
  • Karey Elrod
  • Jerry J. Buccafusco
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 36)


The nervous system and behavioral repertoire of old world monkeys resembles the human neuro-behavioral system more than any other laboratory animal, except higher apes. In addition, spontaneous and conditioned behavior exhibited by the monkey is more similar to that of the human than any other laboratory animal1. Therefore, behavioral tasks which tap the higher cognitive abilities of these nonhuman primates may provide information more relevant to normal human aging and to the demential. The method most frequently employed to test the sophisticated cognitive repertoire of these monkeys has been one or another variation of the delayed response task. The delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) task allows the measurement of abilities which are relevant to human aging, such as attention, strategy formation, reaction time in complex situations and memory for recent events. Thus, comparisons to human behavioral situations should involve less speculation than when lower animal subjects are employed. Interestingly, a similar version of this task has been employed to demonstrate cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease patients 2. The advent of the personal computer age has facilitated the automation of problem presentation and data collection associated with this task, and it is now practical to analyze DMTS performance at a more detailed level.


Nicotinic Receptor Delay Interval Color Preference Nicotine Administration Good Dose 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Jackson
    • 1
  • Karey Elrod
    • 2
  • Jerry J. Buccafusco
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and EndocrinologyMedical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyMedical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Administration Medical CenterAugustaUSA

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