Objective: To investigate the effect of anesthesia on rats’ ability of learning and over their impulsivity.
Material and Methods: We studied eight Wistar adult male rats, test and drug naive subjects. Animals were separated in two groups, group A and B with four members each. Group A included the anesthetized animals. The combination of ketamine, xylazine and piplophen in 2ml/kg body weight dosage was used and testing was done 24 hours after anesthesia. Group B was taken as control. The study was conducted using the ”Delay discounting” apparatus. Experiments assessing impulsive behavior were conducted using automated operant chambers, equipped with two nose-poke holes (holes where pellets of food were released). Rat’s answer was considered touching the nose-poke hole. One answer was rewarded with pellets of food of 45 mg each (small reward), while another hole released five pellets of 45 mg each (high reward). Both types of rewards were presented immediately after rat’s answer and were followed for a period of 25 seconds timeout. During the training phase, rats were placed in operant chambers 30 minutes per day, 5 consecutive days. The growing percent of preference for greater reward indicates learning. For the testing phase the procedure was similar, but a delay was introduced before the release of the big reward. During this phase, the preference for higher reward was indicative for non-impulsive behaviour.
Results: The results didn’t show significant statistically differences between the two groups.
Conclusions: Anesthesia had no effect on learning ability nor on impulsivity.