Reticular Stimulation and Chlorpromazine: An Animal Model for Schizophrenic Overarousal

Science  19 Sep 1969:
Vol. 165, Issue 3899, pp. 1273-1274
DOI: 10.1126/science.165.3899.1273


It has been postulated that certain schizophrenic patients are in a state of continual central excitation and that improvement in these patients after treatment with chlorpromazine is a result of the action of the drug in reducing this excitation. A model was developed to test this postulated state of central excitation. Rats were electrically stimulated in the mesencephalic reticular formation while performing a simple attention task. Stimulation or treatment with chlorpromazine impaired the performance of the animals; however, the two treatments together resulted in performance indistinguishable from that seen after injections of saline alone.