Simple choice reaction time task

Evaluation of attention and impulsivity

simple-choice-reaction-time-taskPatients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) show increased intra-individual variability in response latencies, putative indices of brief lapses in attention, in tasks of attention. The simple choice reaction time task (SCRTT) in mice was developed together with our academic collaborators, to specifically measure attention in terms of intra-individual differences in response latencies in mice1.

In the SCRTT, mice are required to fulfill an unpredictable number of responses in a start-response aperture before a Go-stimulus in a Go-response in the adjacent aperture is switched on. This procedure forces mice to remain close to the Go-response aperture, resulting in short Go-response latencies and accurate measurement of intra-individual variability in Go-response latency. In addition, premature responses into the Go-response aperture before onset of the stimulus are not rewarded and resemble premature responding in the 5CSRTT, thereby providing an index of impulsivity.

Cytotoxic agents affect impulsivity in the SCRTT

Chemotherapy with so-called cytotoxic agents is associated with changes in cognition in a subgroup of cancer patients. In collaboration with our partners, we previously reported that decreased inhibition in the SCRTT can be observed after treatment with cytotoxic agents (cyclophosphamide, docetaxel, and topotecan), showing the predictive validity of the SCRTT to detect detrimental effects of compounds on cognition2.

1Enhanced alcohol self-administration and reinstatement in a highly impulsive, inattentive recombinant inbred mouse strain. Loos et al., Front Behav Neurosci. 2013; 7:151
2Cognitive impact of cytotoxic agents in mice. Seigers, Loos et al., Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2015; 232:17