Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Prado, Marco A.M.

2nd Supervisor

Prado, Vania



A major challenge in behavioural testing of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse models is a low degree of standardization and translatability of tasks to humans. Bussey-Saksida touchscreen systems employ numerous tasks allowing for assessment of advanced cognitive function in mice using paradigms similar to those used in humans. This system can be used to assess cognitive deficits in dementia.

Our study focused on testing visual discrimination, cognitive flexibility and attention of the APP/PS1 familial AD mouse model longitudinally to assess behavioural changes related to cognitive decline. Surprisingly, APP/PS1 mice did not demonstrate impairments in the 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task, which assesses attention and did not show robust deficits in the Pairwise Visual Discrimination task, which assesses visual discrimination and cognitive flexibility. Together, our findings suggest that APP/PS1 may not be a good model to evaluate these cognitive domains in AD, however other domains, namely visuospatial integration, may require closer attention.