Behavioral Response Rates in Pigeons: Effect of α-Methyl-m-tyrosine

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Science  12 Jul 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3576, pp. 169-171
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3576.169


An intramuscular injection of α-methyl-m-tyrosine ( 100 mg/ kg), which differentially depletes serotonin and norepinephrine in both brain and heart, was given to two groups of pigeons trained to peck at a key for food. The first group received an injection 12 hours before the daily session and showed no behavioral effect. Response rates of birds in the second group, which were injected 30 minutes after the start of the daily session, decreased and returned to normal within 9 hours after injection. Preliminary data on brain serotonin of pigeons indicate that the disruption of the behavior follows the same time course as the change in serotonin.