Title

The Effects of Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP) on the Learning of a Brightness Discrimination in Rats

Date of Award

5-1-1982

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Sixty male albino rats received DDAVP, a placebo, or control treatment and were tested on a brightness discrimination task. Three groups (DDAVP, placebo, and control) were tested in the morning and three groups were tested in the evening for possible diurnal influences of DDAVP. The acquisition and reversal of the brightness discrimination, along with the retention of the reversal problem after a five- day retention interval were analyzed. Inspection of forward and backward learning curves plotted for each task revealed facilitated acquisition along with an initial impairment of reversal learning in those animals treated with DDAVP. These results were consistent with previous theoretical interpretations of other vasopressin analogues, such as DDAVP, and their effects upon the behavior of animals. These results supported a memorial interpretation of DDAVP's effects upon behavior. This was short-term in duration, as no retention effects were obtained. It was also found that DDAVP's effects were not influenced by diurnal processes.

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