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.
aDepartment of Psychology, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, México
bDepartment of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA
Correspondence to Vladimir Orduña, PhD, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F. 04510, México E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Present address: Maryed Rojas-Leguizamón: Department of Health Sciences, University Center of Valleys, University of Guadalajara, Ameca, Jalisco, Mexico
Received November 1, 2017
Accepted March 30, 2018