Simple tone discriminations are disrupted following experimental frontal traumatic brain injury in rats

Cole Vonder Haar, Travis R. Smith, Eric J. French, Kris M. Martens, Eric A. Jacobs, Michael R. Hoane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Primary objective: To assess cognitive deficits in a rat model of brain injury. Research design: Cognitive deficits are some of the most pervasive and enduring symptoms of frontal traumatic brain injury (TBI) in human patients. In animal models, the assessment of cognitive deficits from TBI has primarily been limited to tests of spatial learning. Recently, simple discrimination performance has been shown to be sensitive to frontal brain damage. The current study provides a detailed characterization of deficits in a two-choice tone discrimination following a bilateral frontal controlled cortical impact injury. Methods and procedures: Rats were trained on a two-tone discrimination task in a standard operant chamber, then either a frontal brain injury was delivered or sham procedures performed. Following recovery, they were re-tested on the discrimination task and then tested on a reversal of the discrimination. Main outcomes and results: Frontal injury caused substantial deficits in responding and discrimination accuracy as well as an increase in side bias. Conclusions: Based on the outcomes seen in this study, discrimination and other operant tasks may provide a sensitive tool to assess the effect of therapeutic agents on cognitive deficits in animal models, which could lead to improved characterization of deficits and yield an improved assessment tool to aid in drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal models
  • Controlled cortical impact
  • Operant learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Simple tone discriminations are disrupted following experimental frontal traumatic brain injury in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this