5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task
The Five-Choice Serial Reaction-Time Task (5CSRTT) is a laboratory model of visuospatial attention and motor impulsivity used in psychological research. The task takes place within an operant chamber with at least five holes (apertures) that can illuminate, and a food tray to deliver reward. The 5CSRTT requires the animal (typically a rat, although mice can also be used) to correctly identify which of the five apertures is illuminated, via a nose poke, in order to receive a sugar reward. The difficulty of the task is controlled by the length of time the aperture is illuminated: a shorter illumination time requires the animal to pay greater attention, and thus is more difficult (as shown by decreased accuracy). Between every trial, there is also a short interval wherein the animal must withhold all responses, and any responding during this interval is met with a brief time-out and recorded as a failure of inhibitory control.
Because the 5CSRTT has separate measures of attention, impulsivity, and reaction times, it has proven useful in the pre-clinical study of the treatment of diagnoses such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and is also a precursor to modern rodent models of gambling and decision making.
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