Neuropeptide-Y both improves and impairs delayed matching-to-sample performance in rats

John R. Thomas*, Stephen T. Ahlers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Neuropeptide-Y (NPY) was administered intracerebroventricularly to rats performing on delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) to determine if NPY modulates short-term (working) memory. Rats administered saline demonstrated a characteristic DMTS delay gradient in which accuracy decreased as the delay interval between sample and comparison stimuli increased from 2 to 8 to 16 seconds. At 8- and 16-second delays, low doses of NPY (0.25 and 0.5 nmol/kg) increased matching accuracy. As doses increased from 1 to 16 nmol/kg, accuracy decreased in a dose- and delay-dependent manner. NPY effects were specific to working memory, since NPY did not affect accuracy of responses to the sample stimulus (reference memory). At higher doses, a greater decline in accuracy occured when the correct stimulus was on the opposite side from the response on the previous trial compared to accuracy when the previous response was on the same side. These data show NPY may both improve and impair accuracy on DMTS and that some portion of impairment is due to proactive interference resulting from previous trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-422
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Matching-to-sample
  • Memory modulation
  • NPY
  • Neuropeptide-Y
  • Proactive interference
  • Rats
  • Reference memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Working memory


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