Term of Award

Spring 1978

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Robert Haney

Committee Member 1

Paul R. Kleinginna, Jr.

Committee Member 2

Grover C. Richards

Abstract

Previous studies have reported scopolamine produced retention deficits. To further define the primary actions of scopolamine in producing a retention loss, the sedative action of scopolamine was investigated as a basis for the reported retention failure. A comparison of the effects of intraperitoneal injections of scopolamine hydrobromide (0.5 mg/kg), chloral hydrate (30 mg/kg), and sterile water (placebo) on the retention of a punished response was studied using 17 male laboratory rats. Experimental conditions consisted of three Phases: Phase I, response baseline acquisition; Phase II, drug injections followed by aversive conditioning using electrical shock; and Phase III, extinction conditions of no drug administration, which served as a test of retention. Significant differences between the Phase II and III responding was observed for all three groups. A response rate similarity during Phase III between the chloral hydrate and scopolamine groups indicating retention loss due to sedation effects alone was not observed. Rather, an amnesic effect was proposed for the responding of the scopolamine group, and a state-dependency effect for the chloral hydrate group.

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