The effects of cholinergic drugs proposed for treatment of cognitive impairment in normal aging and dementia on divided attention have been little studied in non-human primates. We tested the hypothesis that cholinergic drugs improve spatial divided attention in primates via a computer task requiring simultaneous tracking of two visual targets in three young and two aged healthy bonnet macaques. Task accuracy (number of correct responses) and reaction time (RT) were measured 2 h after administration of either the m1 agonist +/- -cis-2-methyl-spiro(1,3-oxathiolane-5,3')quinuclidine (AF102B; 0.1-2.1 mg/kg IM) or the cholinesterase inhibitor 9-amino-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroamino-acridine (THA; 0.5-2.0 mg/kg orally). Accuracy increased for four of five monkeys at appropriate doses of one or both cholinomimetics, accompanied in two monkeys by a drop in RT. Responses were less uniform to THA than to AF102B. For the five-monkey group at Best dose, accuracy increased 34% (THA) or 43% (AF102B) above baseline (P<0.05 for both drugs), respectively, with no significant change in RT and with minimal untoward effects. Cholinotherapy may improve divided attention in young and aged healthy primates.