Selective deficit in no-go performance induced by blockade of prefrontal cortical alpha 2-adrenoceptors in monkeys

Neuroreport. 2003 May 23;14(7):1013-6. doi: 10.1097/01.wnr.0000070831.57864.7b.


Two monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were trained to make a go response (go to touch a computer screen) when a red signal (go signal) was presented or a no-go response (inhibit the screen-touching action) when a green signal (no-go signal) was given. The alpha2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine was infused locally, bilaterally and continuously for 8 days into the prefrontal cortex (PFC) by using mini-osmotic pump. The no-go but not go performance was selectively impaired during the 8-day administration of yohimbine: the monkeys showed an inability to inhibit the touching response to the no-go signal, indicating that there was a deficit in the inhibitory ability of the animals. Similar infusion of saline into the same cortical area was without effect. The present study provides behavioral pharmacological evidence that alpha2-adrenoceptors in the PFC are involved in the neural mechanisms underlying response inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motor Skills Disorders / chemically induced
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology
  • Neural Inhibition / drug effects
  • Neural Inhibition / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Prefrontal Cortex / drug effects
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2 / physiology*


  • Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2