Selective adjustment of the speed of internal clock and memory processes.

Published

Journal Article

Four experiments studied the scaling of time by rats. The purpose was to determine if internal clock and memory processes could be selectively adjusted by pharmacological manipulations. All of the experiments used a temporal discrimination procedure in which one response ("short") was reinforced following a 2-sec noise signal and a different response ("long") was reinforced following an 8-sec noise signal; unreinforced signals of intermediate duration were also presented. The proportion of "long" responses increased as a function of signal duration. All drugs were administered intraperitoneally (ip) and their effect on clock or memory processes was inferred from the observed pattern of change in the point of subjective equality of the psychophysical functions under training and testing conditions. Experiment 1 demonstrated that methamphetamine (1.5 mg/kg) can selectively increase clock speed and that haloperidol (.12 mg/kg) can selectively decrease clock speed. Experiment 2 demonstrated that footshock stress (.2 mA) can selectively increase clock speed during continuous administration but leads to a decrease in clock speed below control values when the footshock is abruptly terminated. Experiment 3 demonstrated that vasopressin (.07 pressor units/kg) and oxytocin (.02 pressor units/kg) can selectively decrease the remembered durations of reinforced times, which suggests that memory storage speed increased. Experiment 4 demonstrated that physostigmine (.01 mg/kg) can selectively decrease the remembered durations of reinforced times and that atropine (.05 mg/kg) can selectively increase these remembered durations, which suggests that memory storage speed was differentially affected. The conclusion is that internal clock and memory processes can be dissociated by selectively adjusting their speed of operation and that these changes can be quantitatively modeled by a scalar timing theory.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Meck, WH

Published Date

  • April 1, 1983

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 171 - 201

PubMed ID

  • 6842136

Pubmed Central ID

  • 6842136

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-2184

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0097-7403

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037//0097-7403.9.2.171

Language

  • eng