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Behavioral Experimental Paradigms for the Evaluation of Drug’s Influence on Cognitive Functions: Interpretation of Associative, Spatial/Nonspatial and Working Memory

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 3 ]


Saima Zameer, Mohd. Akhtar and Divya Vohora*   Pages 185 - 204 ( 20 )


Background: Currently, a large number of people throughout the world are affected by neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease which appear with a lapse in recall, attention and altered cognitive functions. Learning and memory, the fundamental indices defining cognitive functions, are the complex psychological processes governing acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval of stored information. These processes are synchronized by the coordination of various parts of the brain including hippocampus, striatum and amygdala.

Objective: The present review is centered on different behavioral paradigms in rodents interpreting learning and memory both explicitly and implicitly. Furthermore, it is also emphasizing on the interaction of various brain structures during different stages of associative, spatial and non-spatial memory.

Methods: We embarked on an objective review of literature relevant to screening methods for evaluation of drug’s influence on a wide range of cognitive functions (learning and memory) as well as the underlying mechanism responsible for modulation of these functions.

Results: Our review highlighted the behavioral paradigms based on associative, spatial/nonspatial and working memory. The cited research acknowledged the hippocampal and striatal control on learning and memory.

Conclusion: Since the neurodegenerative disorders and dementia have continuously been increasing, a wide range of therapeutic targets have been developed at the cellular and molecular level. This arises the necessity of screening of these targets in different cognitive behavioral paradigms which reflect their memory enhancing potential. The understanding of behavioral models and the involvement of brain structures in cognitive functions highlighted in the present review might be helpful to advance therapeutic interventions.


Learning and memory, spatial memory, hippocampus, striatum, amygdala, complex psychological process.


Department of Pharmacology, SPER, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Department of Pharmacology, SPER, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, Neurobehavioral Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi 110062

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