Oral administration of adrafinil improves discrimination learning in aged beagle dogs

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 Jun;66(2):301-5. doi: 10.1016/s0091-3057(00)00175-1.


Aged beagle dogs were trained on either a size or intensity discrimination task 2 h following treatment with either 20 mg/kg of adrafinil or a placebo control. Training continued until the dogs reached a predetermined criterion level of performance, or failed to acquire the task after 40 sessions. The treatments and tasks were then reversed, with both the test order and treatment order counterbalanced. Thus, half of the animals were first tested on the intensity discrimination, and half of these were first tested under adrafinil. Treatment with adrafinil produced significant improvement in learning, as indicated by a decrease in both errors and trials to criterion. An effect of adrafinil on motivation may partially account for these findings; however, adrafinil did not significantly affect response latency. Adrafinil is believed to serve as an alpha-1 adrenoceptor agonist. The improved learning may also result from enhancement of vigilance due to facilitation of noradrenergic transmission in the central nervous system.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Discrimination Learning / drug effects*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hydroxamic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Motivation


  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • adrafinil