Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a ubiquitous neuropeptide which may modulate several behavioral and physiological phenomena. Among other behavioral effects, NPY has been shown to enhance memory processes in mice. The current study employed a delayed conditional discrimination procedure to evaluate the effects of intracerebroventricular injections of NPY on short-term working memory. This conditional discrimination procedure assesses appropriate responding, based on a previously presented stimulus, after various delays have been imposed between the stimulus and the opportunity for a response. Delay values ranged from 0.01 s to 30 s. NPY decreased accuracy across delay values in a dose-dependent manner. The two highest doses of NPY (3.0 and 10.0 μg) significantly decreased accuracy. Doses lower than those used in the current study have shown facilitation of memory processes under avoidance procedures in mice. Intraperitoneal naloxone (3.0 mg/kg), an opioid antagonist, completely blocked NPY's memory degrading effects. Procedural differences may account for NPY-induced degradation of short-term working memory under delayed conditional discrimination and previous reports of NPY's enhancement of retention under shock avoidance procedures.
- Conditional discrimination
- Neuropeptide Y