Date of Award

4-1984

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Abstract

The effects of phenobarbital, clonazepam, valproic acid, phenytoin, and ethosuximide were examined in pigeons performing under repeated acquisition of response chains and delayed matching-to-sample procedures. In experiment I, clonazepam, valproic acid, ethosuximide, and phenytoin produced generally dose-dependent increases in rate of responding, while phenobarbital had little consistent effect on response rate across the dose range studied. Phenobarbital and clonazepam produced dose-dependent increases in error rates (i.e., learning impairment). Although valproic acid and phenytoin generally increased error rates relative to control values, this effect was not directly dose-dependent or consistent across subjects. In contrast to the other anticonvulsants examined, ethosuximide had little effect on error rates. In experiment II, clonazepam, valproic acid, phenytoin, and ethosuximide reduced rates of responding to the sample stimulus as the dose was increased, while phenobarbital increased rates of responding at high doses. Phenobarbital, clonazepam, and valproic acid produced generally dose-dependent decreases in accuracy (i.e., memory impairment); ethosuximide and phenytoin failed to do so. These results suggest that there are qualitative as well as quantitative differences in the effects of anticonvulsant drugs under the repeated acquisition of response chains and delayed matching-to-sample procedures.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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