Amy L. Durgin

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Alan D. Poling

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa E. Baker

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Pietras

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


The present study investigated the effects of early repetitive exposure to dextromethorphan (DM), an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, on learning acquisition and working memory in female rats. Twenty-four female rats received 10 daily injections of DM (40 mg/kg) from postnatal day 28 through 37, and were then exposed to an eight-arm radial maze task at 2 and 6 months of age. Results showed no significant difference in performance between DM-treated and vehicle control rats for both tests. Although the current findings showed no enduring deleterious effects of DM, there have been a number of studies showing acute impairments in learning and memory following early exposure to this drug. Therefore, recreational abuse of DM early in life can be dangerous; however, further research examining the drug's behavioral effects is warranted.

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