The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram, enhances inhibition of prepotent responding and spatial reversal learning

Holden D. Brown, Dionisio A. Amodeo, John A. Sweeney, Michael E. Ragozzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous findings indicate treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) facilitates behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a learned response pattern. The present experiment investigated whether acute treatment with the SSRI, escitalopram, affects behavioral flexibility when conditions require inhibition of a naturally biased response pattern (elevated conflict test) and/or reversal of a learned response pattern (spatial reversal learning). An additional experiment was carried out to determine whether escitalopram, at doses that affected behavioral flexibility, also reduced anxiety as tested in the elevated plus-maze. In each experiment, Long-Evans rats received an intraperitoneal injection of either saline or escitalopram (0.03, 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg) 30 min prior to behavioral testing. Escitalopram, at all doses tested, enhanced acquisition in the elevated conflict test, but did not affect performance in the elevated plus-maze. Escitalopram (0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg) did not alter acquisition of the spatial discrimination, but facilitated reversal learning. In the elevated conflict and spatial reversal learning test, escitalopram enhanced the ability to maintain the relevant strategy after being initially selected. The present findings suggest that enhancing serotonin transmission with an SSRI facilitates inhibitory processes when conditions require a shift away from either a naturally biased response pattern or a learned choice pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1443-1455
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Psychopharmacology
Volume26
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Fingerprint

Reversal Learning
Citalopram
Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
Long Evans Rats
Aptitude
Intraperitoneal Injections
Inhibition (Psychology)
Spatial Learning
Serotonin
Anxiety
Therapeutics
Conflict (Psychology)

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • escitalopram
  • rats
  • reversal learning
  • reward
  • serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram, enhances inhibition of prepotent responding and spatial reversal learning. / Brown, Holden D.; Amodeo, Dionisio A.; Sweeney, John A.; Ragozzino, Michael E.

In: Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol. 26, No. 11, 11.2012, p. 1443-1455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, Holden D. ; Amodeo, Dionisio A. ; Sweeney, John A. ; Ragozzino, Michael E. / The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, escitalopram, enhances inhibition of prepotent responding and spatial reversal learning. In: Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2012 ; Vol. 26, No. 11. pp. 1443-1455.
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