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The NEWMEDS rodent touchscreen test battery for cognition relevant to schizophrenia.

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Hvoslef-Eide, M 
Mar, AC 
Nilsson, SRO 
Alsiö, J 
Heath, CJ 


RATIONALE: The NEWMEDS initiative (Novel Methods leading to New Medications in Depression and Schizophrenia, ) is a large industrial-academic collaborative project aimed at developing new methods for drug discovery for schizophrenia. As part of this project, Work package 2 (WP02) has developed and validated a comprehensive battery of novel touchscreen tasks for rats and mice for assessing cognitive domains relevant to schizophrenia. OBJECTIVES: This article provides a review of the touchscreen battery of tasks for rats and mice for assessing cognitive domains relevant to schizophrenia and highlights validation data presented in several primary articles in this issue and elsewhere. METHODS: The battery consists of the five-choice serial reaction time task and a novel rodent continuous performance task for measuring attention, a three-stimulus visual reversal and the serial visual reversal task for measuring cognitive flexibility, novel non-matching to sample-based tasks for measuring spatial working memory and paired-associates learning for measuring long-term memory. RESULTS: The rodent (i.e. both rats and mice) touchscreen operant chamber and battery has high translational value across species due to its emphasis on construct as well as face validity. In addition, it offers cognitive profiling of models of diseases with cognitive symptoms (not limited to schizophrenia) through a battery approach, whereby multiple cognitive constructs can be measured using the same apparatus, enabling comparisons of performance across tasks. CONCLUSION: This battery of tests constitutes an extensive tool package for both model characterisation and pre-clinical drug discovery.



Attention, Cognitive flexibility, Drug discovery, Executive function, Long-term memory, Mouse, Neuropsychiatric disease, Rat, Response inhibition, Working memory, Animals, Antipsychotic Agents, Cognition, Cognition Disorders, Conditioning, Operant, Mice, Psychomotor Performance, Rats, Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic Psychology

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Psychopharmacology (Berl)

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
European Commission (115008)
Wellcome Trust (093875/Z/10/Z)
This work was supported by the Innovative Medicine Initiative Joint Undertaking under grant agreement no. 115008 of which resources are composed of EFPIA in-kind contribution and financial contribution from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013). The authors thank Charlotte Oomen for valuable comments on the manuscript.