Social memory in mice: Disruption with an NMDA antagonist and attenuation with antipsychotic drugs

Xue Min Gao, Gregory I. Elmer, Beverley Adams-Huet, Carol A. Tamminga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Social recognition reflects the ability of one animal to learn and remember the identity of another. Animal models of social learning and memory are pertinent to several different CNS diseases involving disruptions in cognition. Moreover, the increased understanding of the basic biology of memory increases the likelihood of discovery of memory-enhancing treatments in these human diseases. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the non-competitive NMDA antagonist ketamine on social recognition in mice across a broad dose range (5-30 mg/kg) and time-course (60 min-7 days). We also tested the ability of two antipsychotic drugs, haloperidol and olanzapine, to block the ketamine effect. Our results show that mice demonstrate social recognition over a several day period, with loss of recognition between 3-7 days. Ketamine disrupts social memory at doses which do not affect task performance. Chronic oral administration of haloperidol or olanzapine attenuates these ketamine-induced effects on social recognition, tending to normalize the memory behavior. The neural mechanisms of these actions are not known, although medial temporal lobe memory systems have been implicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Haloperidol
  • Hippocampus
  • Ketamine
  • Learning and memory
  • Olanzapine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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