Response-inhibition capacity in spontaneously hypertensive and Wistar rats: Acquisition of fixed minimum interval performance and responsiveness to D-amphetamine

Maryed Rojas-Leguizamón, José L. Baroja, Federico Sanabria, Vladimir Orduña

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Reduced response-inhibition capacity is a defining feature of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The fixed minimum interval (FMI) schedule has been systematically validated to assess such capacity in rats. On each FMI trial, the first lever press initiates an inter-response time (IRT); a potentially consummatory response terminates the IRT; only IRTs longer than a target interval result in access to food. Despite task validity, steady-state FMI performance in the most common animal model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR), is similar to normotensive control performance, even though SHR performs at lower levels, especially during acquisition, in similar response-withholding tasks. To determine whether such limitations of the model are specific to stable-state performance, this experiment compared FMI 6-s performance in SHR and Wistar rats during acquisition and in steady state, and assessed the effect of acute D-amphetamine (AMP) administration (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/kg) on steady-state performance. Median latencies to first lever press were consistently shorter in SHR than in Wistar rats; IRTs were shorter for SHR than for Wistar rats during acquisition, but substantially less so during asymptotic performance. AMP dose-dependently reduced latencies, shortened IRTs, and, at the highest dose, increased the proportion of IRTs under schedule control. These results suggest that, relative to Wistar rats, SHR have a reduced capacity to learn to withhold a reinforced response; once the FMI is acquired, high doses of D-AMP disrupt withholding performance in both strains, but they also enhance the responsiveness of both strains to reinforcement contingencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural pharmacology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Animal models
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • d-amphetamine
  • impulsivity
  • response inhibition
  • spontaneous hypertensive rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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