Cholinergic drugs affect novel object recognition in rats: relation with hippocampal EEG?

Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Oct 31;572(2-3):151-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.06.018. Epub 2007 Jun 27.


This study examined the role of cognitively enhancing cholinergic drugs on both object memory and brain activity in rats, as well as the possible relation between the two measures. A group of twenty-four animals was used for assessing object recognition. In another group of eight rats, an electrode was implanted into the dorsal hippocampus to record an electroencephalogram (EEG) and auditory evoked potentials (AEP). In both groups, animals were treated with saline, 0.1 mg/kg scopolamine, 0.1 mg/kg methylscopolamine, 3 mg/kg donepezil, donepezil combined with scopolamine, 0.1 mg/kg nicotine, and nicotine combined with scopolamine. Scopolamine, but not methylscopolamine, impaired object recognition. Both donepezil and nicotine reversed this impairment. The N1 and N2 components of the AEP became closer to baseline after scopolamine, which was not reversed by donepezil or nicotine. Scopolamine increased the theta frequency in the EEG. When combined with donepezil, theta increased even more. Conversely, nicotine reversed the theta increment to control level. It is suggested that scopolamine caused a decrement in arousal in this study. Furthermore, the current results suggest a relation between EEG and object memory after cholinergic drug treatment. However, there was a clear dissociation between memory performance and EEG after combined treatment with drugs, which makes additional research where EEG and performance measures are co-registered imperative.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholinergic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Donepezil
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / drug effects
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / drug effects*
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Indans / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Nicotine / pharmacology
  • Nicotinic Agonists / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recognition, Psychology / drug effects*
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology


  • Cholinergic Agents
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Indans
  • Nicotinic Agonists
  • Piperidines
  • Nicotine
  • Donepezil
  • Scopolamine