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Non-cholinergic modulation of antisaccade performance: a modafinil-nicotine comparison.

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:42 authored by N Rycroft, S B Hutton, O Clowry, C Groomsbridge, A Sierakowski, Jennifer Rusted
INTRODUCTION: The antisaccade task provides a powerful tool with which to investigate the cognitive and neural systems underlying goal-directed behaviour, particularly in situations when the correct behavioural response requires the suppression of a prepotent response. Antisaccade errors (failures to suppress reflexive prosaccades towards sudden-onset targets) are increased in patients with damage to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and in patients with schizophrenia. Nicotine has been found to improve antisaccade performance in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. This performance enhancing effect may be due to direct effects on the cholinergic system, but there has been no test of this hypothesis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a double blind, double dummy, placebo-controlled design, we compared the effect of nicotine and modafinil, a putative indirect noradrenergic agonist, on antisaccade performance in healthy non-smokers. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Both compounds reduced latency for correct antisaccades, although neither reduced antisaccade errors. These findings are discussed with reference to the pharmacological route of performance enhancement on the antisaccade task and current models of antisaccade performance.


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