Differential effects of 5-HT 2A and 5-HT 2C receptor blockade on strategy-switching

Phillip M. Baker, Jennifer L. Thompson, John A. Sweeney, Michael E. Ragozzino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Recent experiments indicate that blockade of serotonin (5-HT) 2A and 2C receptors have differential effects on reversal learning. The present experiments investigated the effects of the 5-HT 2A receptor antagonist, ketanserin and 5-HT 2C receptor antagonist, SB242084 on acquisition and strategy-switching in a visual cue-response paradigm. Long-Evans rats were trained in a cross-maze to enter an arm based on color (visual cue version) or a specific turn response (response version). Systemic treatment with ketanserin did not affect initial learning of a visual cue or response discrimination, but ketanserin at 0.5mg/kg significantly enhanced a switch between visual cue and response strategies. Ketanserin facilitated strategy-switching by inhibiting responses to a previously relevant strategy without affecting choices to never-reinforced strategies. Treatment with SB242084 (0.5, 1.0 or 2.0mg/kg) did not affect acquisition of a visual cue or response discrimination. SB242084 treatment also did not affect strategy-switching. The present findings suggest that blockade of 5-HT 2A, but not 5-HT 2C, receptors enhance strategy switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 16 2011


  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Ketanserin
  • Learning
  • Rat
  • Serotonin
  • Strategy-switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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