Research Publication Title

The Effects of Chronic Caffeine Exposure on Spatial Learning in Sprague-Dawley Rats

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kristina L. Dandy

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to assess the effects of caffeine exposure on spatial learning in Sprague-Dawley rats. Past literature provided conflicting evidence regarding the effects of caffeine on spatial learning and memory. Chronically administered caffeine has been shown to significantly impact sleep habits in adolescent rats and interferes with brain development (Olini et al., 2013). Additionally, prenatal caffeine exposure impaired memory in male and female rats on the radial arm maze task, but not in the Morris water maze (Soellner et al., 2009). However, Alexander et al. (2013) found protective effects of caffeine on rats' spatial learning following brain injury. Further, Abreu et al. (2011) revealed that coffee intake improved long-term memory through object recognition in male rats. Given these contradictory findings, the current study focused on the impact of chronic and acute caffeine intake on adolescent Sprague Dawley rats' spatial learning as measured by the radial arm maze. Rats were assigned to an experimental group that received 20mg/kg of caffeine daily throughout the experiment (n=5) or a control group (n=6) that received no caffeine; rats were placed on food restriction at the start of maze training and were maintained at 85% of their free feeding weight throughout testing. Reinforcement, in the form of Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal, was randomly assigned to four of the eight arms; food placement remained constant throughout testing. Habituation trials were conducted for five consecutive days in order to acclimate rats to the maze prior to testing. On day six, testing began and continued for a total of 15 consecutive days. Total time to complete the task, wrong arm entries, and arm reentries were recorded for each subject and trial. Interestingly, results of a two-way mixed model ANOVA, with experimental vs. control group as a between group factor and days (1-15) as a within group factor revealed that rats in the experimental group made significantly more errors than the control group (F(1,153) = 15.024, p <0.001). However, no effect of day was found, (F(13,153) = 1.520, p = 0.119) suggesting that rats in neither group became proficient on the task. Results speak to possible motivational challenges in adolescent rats with respect to food restriction.

Start Date

10-4-2015 11:30 AM

End Date

10-4-2015 12:15 PM

Location

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

This document is currently not available here.

Share

Import Event to Google Calendar

COinS
 
Apr 10th, 11:30 AM Apr 10th, 12:15 PM

The Effects of Chronic Caffeine Exposure on Spatial Learning in Sprague-Dawley Rats

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

The purpose of the current study was to assess the effects of caffeine exposure on spatial learning in Sprague-Dawley rats. Past literature provided conflicting evidence regarding the effects of caffeine on spatial learning and memory. Chronically administered caffeine has been shown to significantly impact sleep habits in adolescent rats and interferes with brain development (Olini et al., 2013). Additionally, prenatal caffeine exposure impaired memory in male and female rats on the radial arm maze task, but not in the Morris water maze (Soellner et al., 2009). However, Alexander et al. (2013) found protective effects of caffeine on rats' spatial learning following brain injury. Further, Abreu et al. (2011) revealed that coffee intake improved long-term memory through object recognition in male rats. Given these contradictory findings, the current study focused on the impact of chronic and acute caffeine intake on adolescent Sprague Dawley rats' spatial learning as measured by the radial arm maze. Rats were assigned to an experimental group that received 20mg/kg of caffeine daily throughout the experiment (n=5) or a control group (n=6) that received no caffeine; rats were placed on food restriction at the start of maze training and were maintained at 85% of their free feeding weight throughout testing. Reinforcement, in the form of Kellogg's Froot Loops cereal, was randomly assigned to four of the eight arms; food placement remained constant throughout testing. Habituation trials were conducted for five consecutive days in order to acclimate rats to the maze prior to testing. On day six, testing began and continued for a total of 15 consecutive days. Total time to complete the task, wrong arm entries, and arm reentries were recorded for each subject and trial. Interestingly, results of a two-way mixed model ANOVA, with experimental vs. control group as a between group factor and days (1-15) as a within group factor revealed that rats in the experimental group made significantly more errors than the control group (F(1,153) = 15.024, p <0.001). However, no effect of day was found, (F(13,153) = 1.520, p = 0.119) suggesting that rats in neither group became proficient on the task. Results speak to possible motivational challenges in adolescent rats with respect to food restriction.