5-choice Serial Reaction Time Task (5CSRT) for Rats

Model 89543A-R


Adapted for rats, this task is sensitive to cortical manipulations, especially those involving prefrontal cortex, and is highly dependent on cholinergic transmission.


This task requires the rodent to respond to a brief visual stimulus presented randomly in one of 5 locations. This task in rodents is sensitive to cortical manipulations, especially those involving prefrontal cortex, and is highly dependent on cholinergic transmission.

Example Neural Systems Involved

  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Basal Forebrain, Cholinergic (Accuracy)
  • Serotonin (Impulsivity)
  • Noradrenaline (Distraction)
  • Dopamine (Motivation)

Clinical Areas Showing Impairment

  • Alzheimer's
  • Depression
  • Huntington's
  • Schizophrenia,
  • ADHD,
  • OCD

Typical Training Times

  • 1-2 weeks to train to touch the screen and initiate the task
  • 6-24 sessions to train to criterion for task


  • A test of attention, impulsivity, and motivation
  • All training paradigms and advice included


Desrochers, S. S., & Nautiyal, K. M. (2022). Serotonin 1B receptor effects on response inhibition are independent of inhibitory learning. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 187. - Abstract

Wittkowski, J., Fritz, R. G., Meier, M., & Schmidtke, D. (2021). Conditioning learning in an attentional task relates to age and ventricular expansion in a nonhuman primate (Microcebus murinus). Behavioural Brain Research, 399, 113053. - Abstract

Palmer, D., Dumont, J. R., Dexter, T. D., Prado, M. A. M., Finger, E., Bussey, T. J., & Saksida, L. M. (2021). Touchscreen cognitive testing: Cross-species translation and co-clinical trials in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease. In Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (Vol. 182, p. 107443). - Abstract

Tran, B. N., Valek, L., Wilken-Schmitz, A., Fuhrmann, D. C., Namgaladze, D., Wittig, I., & Tegeder, I. (2021). Reduced exploratory behavior in neuronal nucleoredoxin knockout mice. Redox Biology, 45, 102054. - Abstract

Rashmi Tripathi, G. mehta,Garima T. M. S. (2021). Various Test To Assess the Behaviour and Learning Skills in Rodent. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, 25(6), 1990–2010. - Abstract

Kaukas, L., Holmes, J., Rahimi, F., … L. C.-P.-B. brain, & 2021, undefined. (2021). Injury during adolescence leads to sex-specific executive function deficits in adulthood in a pre-clinical model of mild traumatic brain injury. Elsevier, 402, 166–4328. - Abstract

Lee, J., van den Buuse, M., Nithianantharajah, J., & Jones, N. C. (2020). Acute NMDA receptor antagonism impairs working memory performance but not attention in rats-Implications for the NMDAr hypofunction theory of schizophrenia. Behavioral Neuroscience, 134(4), 323–331. - Abstract

Smith, B. L., Laaker, C. J., Lloyd, K. R., Hiltz, A. R., & Reyes, T. M. (2020). Adolescent microglia play a role in executive function in male mice exposed to perinatal high fat diet. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 84, 80–89. - Abstract

Shepherd, A., May, C., Churilov, L., Adlard, P. A., Hannan, A. J., & Burrows, E. L. (2019). Evaluation of attention in APP/PS1 mice shows impulsive and compulsive behaviours. Genes, Brain and Behavior. - Abstract

Heath, C. J., O’Callaghan, C., Mason, S. L., Phillips, B. U., Saksida, L. M., Robbins, T. W., Barker, R. A., Bussey, T. J., & Sahakian, B. J. (2019). A Touchscreen Motivation Assessment Evaluated in Huntington’s Disease Patients and R6/1 Model Mice. Frontiers in Neurology, 10. - Abstract

Hambrecht-Wiedbusch, V. S., Latendresse, K. A., Avidan, M. S., Nelson, A. G., Phyle, M., Ajluni, R. E., & Mashour, G. A. (2019). General anesthesia does not have persistent effects on attention in rodents. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 13. - Abstract

Mantanona, C. P., Alsiö, J., Elson, J. L., Fisher, B. M., Dalley, J. W., Bussey, T., & Pienaar, I. S. (2019). Altered motor, anxiety-related and attentional task performance at baseline associate with multiple gene copies of the vesicular acetylcholine transporter and related protein overexpression in ChAT::Cre+ rats. Brain Structure and Function. - Abstract

Fitzpatrick, C. M., Maric, V. S., Bate, S. T., & Andreasen, J. T. (2018). Influence of intertrial interval on basal and drug-induced impulsive action in the 5-choice serial reaction time task. Neuroscience Letters. - Abstract

Kim, E. W., Phillips, B. U., Heath, C. J., Cho, S. Y., Kim, H., Sreedharan, J., Song, H. T., Lee, J. E., Bussey, T. J., Kim, C. H., Kim, E., & Saksida, L. M. (2017). Optimizing reproducibility of operant testing through reinforcer standardization: Identification of key nutritional constituents determining reward strength in touchscreens. Molecular Brain, 10(1). - Abstract


Required Accessories

Second Generation Bussey-Saksida Touch Screen Chamber for Rats
Second Generation Bussey-Saksida Touch Screen Chamber for Rats
Model 80604A

The Second Generation Bussey Chambers with Intelli-interface supports up to 20 chambers on one PC. On the strength of 10 years of feedback and development, the system is even more flexible and with more features.

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