A comparison of two cognitive test paradigms in a penetrating brain injury model

Angela R. Davis, Deborah A. Shear*, Zhiyong Chen, Xi Chun M. Lu, Frank C. Tortella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A rat model of penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI) was recently established to study military-relevant severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this study was to conduct a side-by-side evaluation of two well-established cognitive testing paradigms: the novel object recognition (NOR) task and the Morris water maze (MWM) task. Accordingly, male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to PBBI and their cognitive abilities were assessed at 7 and 21 days post-PBBI. Although PBBI animals had more difficulty completing both tasks compared to sham animals, their performance on the NOR task was confounded by a high degree of within-group variability that was likely due to attention deficits produced by the injury. In contrast, PBBI produced consistent, significant spatial learning deficits in the MWM task. Overall, these results suggest that the MWM task provides a more appropriate cognitive test for the PBBI model that would be useful for testing promising neuroprotective therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Morris water maze
  • Novel object recognition
  • Penetrating brain injury
  • Traumatic brain injury


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of two cognitive test paradigms in a penetrating brain injury model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this