Reduction in distractibility with AF102B and THA in the macaque

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2003 Sep;76(2):301-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2003.08.006.


Distractibility in primates may be influenced by central cholinergic systems. Two cholinomimetics, the m-1 muscarinic agonist (+/-)-cis-2-methyl-spiro(1,3-oxathiolane-5,3')quinuclidine (AF102B, civemeline) and the cholinesterase inhibitor tetrahydroaminoacridine (THA, tacrine), were compared to vehicle controls for effects on distractibility in an automated visuospatial attention task. The task required visual pursuit of a moving target amongst distractor stimuli that acted to impair performance and was executed by seven healthy adult bonnet macaque monkeys. Task accuracy and reaction time were measured 1.5 h after systemic administration of each substance. For the seven-subject group at individually titrated best doses, accuracy increased significantly relative to vehicle for both drugs. Reaction time at best dose decreased for both drugs, but not significantly. Muscarinic agonists and cholinesterase inhibitors may reduce distractibility in primates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / drug effects*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / drug effects
  • Female
  • Macaca radiata
  • Male
  • Muscarinic Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Quinuclidines / pharmacology*
  • Space Perception / drug effects
  • Tacrine / pharmacology*
  • Thiophenes*
  • Visual Perception / drug effects


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Muscarinic Agonists
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Quinuclidines
  • Thiophenes
  • Tacrine
  • cevimeline