Description

The 5CSRTT apparatus consists of an operant conditioning chamber with 2 Plexiglas sidewalls; the aluminum front wall is rounded and contains five nose poke apertures (2.5 x 2.2 x 2.2 cm each, 2 cm above the floor)

Each apparatus you purchase from MazeEngineers comes with a stimulus LED light as well as infrared nose poke sensor.

A stainless steel back wall has a food cachet installed which provides food pellets from the pellet dispenser. Infrared sensor and an LED signal light. included

Shocker floor grid allows for punishment in the experiment. Removable feces and urine tray below this grid allows for easy cleaning.

Features

Take advantage of Neuralynx, Ethovision Integration, SMS and Email integration with the Conductor Science Software. No I/O Boxes Required

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Price & Dimensions

Mouse 5CSRTT

$ 5990

+S&H
  • Aperature Dimension: 1.3 x 1.2 x 1.2 cm width x height x depth, 1 cm above the floor
  • Interior Dimension: 20 x 20 x 25 cm
  • 5 nose poke apertures
  • LED visual stimuli (IR Based)
  • Incandescent house light
  • Food magazine
  • Shock Grid
  • Pellet Dispenser
  • Feces and urine tray, removable
  • Isolation cubicle
  • Aluminum back wall

Rat CSRTT

$ 6990

+S&H
  • Aperture dimension: 2.8 x 2.8 x 2.2 cm width x height x depth, 2 cm above the floor
  • Interior Dimension: 30 x 25 x 30 cm (width x depth x height)
  • 5 nose poke apertures
  • LED visual stimuli (IR Based)
  • Incandescent house light
  • Food magazine
  • Shock Grid
  • Pellet Dispenser
  • Feces and urine tray, removable
  • Isolation cubicle
  • Aluminum back wall

Conductor Software

  • The software provides the front end for user to configure and run experiments. Historical data are saved.
  • There are four grids to show the results:
    • Current Result Status: show the protocol name, result name, protocol run start time, complete time and run status
    • Trial Result: shows the trial result for each cage and each trial. The columns include: Start time, Lighted Aperture, ITI, Response, Poked Aperture, Latency to Response, Latency to Reward and trial duration
    • Summary Result: shows the statistics of trials for each cage. The columns include the count and percentage of each response (correct, premature, incorrect and omission)
    • Sequential Activity: shows the detailed activities for each trial. This will help to understand the sequence of the animal events and system actions
  • $790 with purchase of apparatus

Pellet Dispenser

  • Uses Maze Engineers’ Pellet Dispenser. User configures what condition(s) a pellet is dispensed. Software captures and reports nose poke events on pellet.

Pellet Dispenser

Light Stimulus

  • The light volume is specified by user with range 0-100 with step 1. The light intensity in the chambers is measured by Lux. The relationship between light level and intensity is calibrated.
  • Optional: configurable color lights

Shock Stimulus

  • Shock generator as a separate component outside the Isolation Cubicle
  • Removable grid – mouse rod diameter 3mm, spacing 5 mm. Rat rod diameter 6mm, spacing 10mm
  • Current control can be controlled programmatically or manually
  • Start or stop is controlled programmatically or manually
  • Shock: Constant current – from 0.1 to 4.0 mA in 0.1 mA steps

Isolation Cubicle for 5CSRTT Chamber

  • Sound-proof insulation material
  • Cubicle material
  • Air circulation: one fan on the back wall

Documentation

Introduction

The 5CSRTT (5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Test) Apparatus is used to assess attentional processes in rodents. It consists of a test chamber containing a curved wall with five nose poke apertures. A stimulus LED light is present in each aperture to signal food retrieval. Food can be retrieved from a food cachet connected to a food dispenser on the opposite wall of the chamber. During the task, the subject must pay attention to the apertures to detect the signal and respond correctly to obtain the food reward within a limited time window. If the subject responds incorrectly by an error of commission (responding in a hole where the signal is not presented), error of omission (failing to respond to the signal within the prescribed time limit), or premature responses (responding before the signal presentation), it is punished by a time-out period, which is a brief period of darkness. In addition, the 5CSRTT Apparatus also contains a shocker floor grid to provide punishment. 

Impaired attention and impulsivity are characteristics of many mental health disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and schizophrenia (Egeland, 2007). The 5CSRTT Apparatus can effectively be used to examine impaired attention and impulse control in rodents, which can be used as a model to understand the neurobiology of these psychiatric illnesses. During testing, the subject is placed in the apparatus and required to withhold poking its nose in any of the apertures until the appearance of the signal. Therefore, motor impulsivity can be assessed from the number of premature responses before presenting the visual signal. Additionally, perseverative responses, another form of inhibitory deficit, can also be assessed in which the subjects continue to respond at the response apertures even after signaled food presentation. The 5CRSTT Apparatus measures sustained attention by observing the subject’s ability to complete the task with the visual cue varying in location over a large number of trials. Moreover, varying the visual cue in location, duration, and timing (pre-cue delay) across trials also enables independent assessment of impulsivity. Other aspects of attention, such as selective attention, can also be examined on the 5CSRTT Apparatus by presenting distracting stimuli during the interval between trial onset and visual cue presentation. 

The 5CSRTT Apparatus can also be used to investigate the effect of selective lesions, pharmacological manipulations, and diseases and disorders on attention and impulsivity in rodents. Other apparatuses used to study attention and impulsivity in rodents include the Attentional Set Shifting (IDED) Chamber and the Electro-Foot Shock Aversive Water Drinking Test (EFSDT) Box 

Apparatus and Equipment

The 5CSRTT Apparatus consists of a chamber measuring 25 × 25 in length and width and 30 cm in height. It contains two plexiglass sidewalls, an aluminum front wall, and a stainless steel back wall. The aluminum front wall is curved and contains five nose poke apertures measuring 2.5 × 2.2 × 2.2 cm each, 2 cm above the floor. The apparatus contains an infrared nose poke sensor to detect the subject’s nose pokes into each aperture. A stimulus LED light is present in each nose poke opening as a signal for food retrieval.  The food is dispensed in the back wall through a food cachet installed to provide food pellets from the pellet dispenser. The floor of the apparatus consists of a shocker floor grid to provide punishment during trials. A removable tray is present below the grid for easy removal and cleaning of urine and feces. 

Training Protocol

Clean the apparatus with 70% ethanol after each trial. Appropriately light the apparatus. A tracking and recording system such as the Noldus Ethovision XT can be used to assist with observations

5CSRTT Training Trials 

Starve the subject before trials. Cover the nose poke openings. Place the subject in the 5CSRTT Apparatus. Dispense 10-20 pellets from the food dispenser. Allow the subject to explore the apparatus and collect the food pellets within 30 minutes. Remove the subject from the apparatus and return it to its home cage. On the following three days, conduct training in the same manner; however, deliver the pellets singly at 30-second intervals and ensure that the subject consumes each pellet. 

5CSRTT Task

  • Phase 1

Remove the covers from the nose poke openings. Turn on the house light. Place the subject in the apparatus and deliver a single food pellet. Allow the subject to retrieve the pellet. Illuminate a signal light in a random nose poke opening after an inter-trial interval of 2 seconds. Allow the subject to poke its nose in the illuminated opening. Turn off the signal light and deliver a single reinforcer. If the subject pokes its nose in a non-illuminated opening, turn off the light in the apparatus for 2 seconds and do not deliver food as a time-out period. After the subject retrieves the food after a time-out or food delivery, begin a new trial. Select a random opening to illuminate each trial. Present signals in each opening equally in each session. Conduct trials until the subject meets the required criterion of 100 reinforced nose poke responses in a 30-minute test session. 

  • Phase 2

Repeat trials in the same manner as phase 1, but place a time limit on the signal light and response period (limited hold). Initiate a 2-second delay (pre-cue delay) before illuminating the signal. Illuminate each signal for 60 seconds and set a limited hold of 60 seconds after the signal period. If the subject pokes its nose into the illuminated opening during these 2 minutes, count it as a correct response and deliver a food pellet. If the subject pokes its nose into a non-illuminated opening, count it as an error of commission and turn off the signal light and house light. If the subject does not poke its nose into any opening, count it as an error of omission, and turn off the signal light and house light. If the subject makes a nose poke into any opening during the pre-cue delay, count it as a premature response, turn off the house light, and restart the trial. Conduct trials until the subject produces 100 correct responses in 30-minute test sessions or produces 80 correct responses in 100 trials. 

  • Phase 3 

Conduct trials in the same manner as phase 2 trials, but progressively shorten the signal duration and limited hold until the signal duration reached 0.5 seconds and the limited hold reaches 5 seconds. Lengthen the time-out period to 3 seconds and the pre-cure delay to 5 seconds. Conduct trials until the subjects achieve 80% correct responses with around 15% omissions in approximately 30 training sessions. 

  • Phase 4

Vary the duration of the pre-cue delay to 0, 3, 4, and 9 seconds for rats and 0, 2, and 4 seconds for mice across trials within each session. 

Literature Review

Investigation of the effect of chronic Δ9-THC exposure on motor impulsivity in rats using the 5CSRTT Apparatus 

Irimia, Polis, Stouffer, and Parsons (2015) investigated the effect of chronic Δ9-THC exposure on motor impulsivity in male Wistar rats using the 5CSRTT Apparatus. The subjects were first tested using six identical 5CSRTT Apparatuses without exposure to Δ9-THC to establish a stable performance on the apparatus. During trials, subjects were trained and tested to retrieve a food pellet following a semi-random illumination of the signal light in one of the five openings. Additionally, the subjects were trained to retrieve the pellet after a limited hold period. If the subjects produced incorrect responses, a time-out period was conducted. After establishing stable 5CSRTT performance, the subjects were divided into three treatment groups and received either vehicle, 0.3, or 3 mg/kg Δ9-THC. Trials were conducted again on the 5CRSTT Apparatus to examine the effects of repeated Δ9-THC dosing on 5-CSRTT performance in eight 14-day cycles consisting of 5-day drug administration followed by nine days of drug abstinence. Trials on the 5CRSTT were not conducted during THC administration or during abstinence days 1, 2, 8, and 9 of the first eight cycles. The 5CRSTT testing continued for five weeks of protracted abstinence. The results indicated dose-dependent increases in motor impulsivity and behavioral disinhibition following five cycles of Δ9-THC exposure. When novel inter-trial intervals were introduced into the testing session, Δ9-THC-related disruptions in motor impulsivity and behavioral inhibition were most pronounced, which persisted for around five weeks of drug abstinence. 

Investigation of atomoxetine, methylphenidate, and d-amphetamine against tolcapone on impulsivity and attentional performance in suboptimal rats 

Paterson, Ricciardi, and Hanania (2011) investigated the effect of ADHD treatments atomoxetine, methylphenidate, and d-amphetamine against COMT inhibitor tolcapone on impulsivity and attentional performance in suboptimal rats using the 5CSRTT Apparatus. Male Long Evans rats were used in the study and tested in ten identical 5CRSTT Apparatuses housed in sound-attenuating chambers. The subjects were trained to retrieve the food reward upon illumination of the signal light in one of the nose poke openings. After training, drug testing began in which all the subjects received all drug treatments and were tested on the 5CRSTT Apparatus. Atomoxetine and methylphenidate were administered with a pre-treatment time of 30 minutes, amphetamine was administered with a pre-treatment time of 20 minutes, and tolcapone was administered with a pre-treatment time of 60 minutes. During test sessions, variable inter-trial intervals of 10, 7, 5, and 4-second durations were used. Drug testing was performed twice a week when performance was less than 75% correct out of 50 trials from the previous test session. The results indicated an increase in inter-trial durations with increased premature responses. A decrease in inter-trial durations results in increased preservative responses, increased percent omissions, and increased response latencies but did not affect latency to collect the food reward following a correct response. A decrease in premature responses at prolonged inter-trial durations was seen with atomoxetine administration. At low doses, methylphenidate decreased percent omissions. In contrast, amphetamine increased premature and perseverative responses in a dose-dependent manner. Tolcapone administration did not affect sub-optimal performance in variable inter-trial durations. 

Data Analysis

The following parameters can be observed using the 5CSRTT Apparatus:

  • Number of correct responses
  • Number of incorrect responses 
  • Number of premature responses (nose-pokes made during inter-trial intervals)
  • Number of perseverative responses (total number of additional responses emitted after the initial nose-poke within a single trial)
  • Number of omission errors
  • Time taken to make the correct choice 
  • Times taken to collect the reward pellet following the correct choice

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths 

The 5CRSTT Apparatus can be used to study attention and impulsivity in rodents. Different aspects of attention, such as sustained attention and selective attention, can be assessed using this apparatus. The 5CRSTT Apparatus contains five nose poke apertures, so the visual cue signal can vary between these five apertures across trials to challenge the subject’s attention. Furthermore, variations can also be presented in the visual cue duration and pre-cue delay between trial onset and visual cue presentation across trials. The apparatus contains a shocker grid floor to punish the subjects if they respond incorrectly during trials. Additionally, the house light can also be turned off for a brief moment of darkness as a less aversive form of punishment. 

Limitations 

The 5CRSTT requires a time-intensive training period. The subject’s motivation to complete long training sessions and trials is essential for task performance. Task performance can be affected by the subject’s ability to learn and perform the task, which can also be affected by the subject’s age, gender, and strain. Improper handling of the subjects can induce stress and alter behavioral outcomes such as learning and memory. A sound-attenuating chamber may be required to keep the apparatus during testing sessions to prevent external distracting stimuli from affecting the task performance. 

Summary

  • The 5CSRTT (5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Test) Apparatus assesses attention and impulsivity in rodents.
  • It consists of a testing chamber containing a curved wall with five nose poke apertures in which a visual cue signal can be displayed. A food cachet is present opposite the curved wall, connected to a food dispenser that dispenses food pellets if the subject responds correctly during trials. 
  • The 5CSRTT Apparatus can be used as a model to investigate several psychiatric illnesses characterized by impaired attention and increased impulsivity. It can also be used to investigate the effect of pharmacological manipulations on attention and impulse control. 

References

  1. Egeland J. (2007). Differentiating attention deficit in adult ADHD and schizophrenia. Archives of clinical neuropsychology: the official journal of the National Academy of Neuropsychologists22(6), 763–771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acn.2007.06.004
  2. Irimia, C., Polis, I. Y., Stouffer, D., & Parsons, L. H. (2015). Persistent effects of chronic Δ9-THC exposure on motor impulsivity in rats. Psychopharmacology232(16), 3033–3043. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-015-3942-x
  3. Paterson, N. E., Ricciardi, J., Wetzler, C., & Hanania, T. (2011). Sub-optimal performance in the 5-choice serial reaction time task in rats was sensitive to methylphenidate, atomoxetine and d-amphetamine, but unaffected by the COMT inhibitor tolcapone. Neuroscience Research69(1), 41–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2010.10.001