Blockade of Central Cholinergic Receptors Impairs New Learning and Increases Proactive Interference in a Word Paired-Associate Memory Task

Alireza Atri, Kenneth A. Norman, Marlene M. Nicolas, Steven C. Cramer, Michael E. Hasselmo, Seth Sherman, Brenda A. Kirchhoff, Michael D. Greicius, Hans C. Breiter, Chantal E. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experimental data and computational models suggest that blockade of muscarinic cholinergic receptors impairs paired-associate learning and increases proactive interference (E. DeRosa & M. E. Hasselmo, 2000; M. E. Hasselmo & J. M. Bower, 1993). The results presented here provide evidence in humans supporting these hypotheses. Young healthy subjects first learned baseline word pairs (A-B) and, after a delay, learned additional overlapping (A-C) and nonoverlapping (D-E) word pairs. As predicted, when compared with subjects who received the active placebo glycopyrrolate (4 μg/kg) and subjects who were not injected, those who received scopolamine (8 μg/kg) showed (a) overall impairment in new word paired-associate learning, but no impairment in cued recall of previously learned associates; and (b) greater impairment in learning overlapping (A-C) compared with nonoverlapping (D-E) paired associates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume118
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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    Atri, A., Norman, K. A., Nicolas, M. M., Cramer, S. C., Hasselmo, M. E., Sherman, S., Kirchhoff, B. A., Greicius, M. D., Breiter, H. C., & Stern, C. E. (2004). Blockade of Central Cholinergic Receptors Impairs New Learning and Increases Proactive Interference in a Word Paired-Associate Memory Task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 118(1), 223-236. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7044.118.1.223