Two-choice Paired/Visual Discrimination Reversal (PD) for Mice

Two-choice Paired/Visual Discrimination Reversal (PD) for Mice

Model 89540A

  • A test of visual learning and cognitive flexibility
  • All training paradigms and advice included


The task involves learning that one of two shapes displayed simultaneously on the screen is correct. Touching the correct stimuli (S+) will be rewarded with food. Touching the incorrect stimuli (S-) will be punished with a timeout. Once the task has been learned, the stimuli are reversed so that the S+ stimuli now becomes the S- stimuli and vice versa. This reversal learning requires inhibition of prepotent responses and is known to be dependent on the prefrontal cortex.

Example Neural Systems Involved

  • Prefrontal Cortex
  • Perirhinal Cortex
  • Striatum, Dopamine system
  • Cholinergic system
  • NMDA receptors

Clinical Areas Showing Impairment

  • Huntington's
  • Schizophrenia
  • Parkinson's

Cognitive Functions Covered

  • Learning and Memory
  • Cognitive Flexibility and Response Inhibition
  • Executive Function

Typical Training Times (depends on strain and age)

  • 1-2 weeks to train to touch the screen and initiate the task
  • 5-7 days to train to criterion for the visual pairwise discrimination
  • 10 days for reversal testing.


Liao, J., Dong, G., Wulaer, B., Sawahata, M., Mizoguchi, H., Mori, D., Ozaki, N., Nabeshima, T., Nagai, T., & Yamada, K. (2022). Mice with exonic RELN deletion identified from a patient with schizophrenia have impaired visual discrimination learning and reversal learning in touchscreen operant tasks. Behavioural Brain Research, 416, 113569. - Abstract

Dickson, P. E., & Mittleman, G. (2022). Working memory and pattern separation in founder strains of the BXD recombinant inbred mouse panel. Scientific Reports 2022 12:1, 12(1), 1?9. - Abstract

Savolainen, K., Ihalainen, J., H?m?l?inen, E., Tanila, H., & Forsberg, M. M. (2021). Phencyclidine-induced cognitive impairments in repeated touchscreen visual reversal learning tests in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 404. - 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

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

Alvarez, B. D., Morales, C. A., & Amodeo, D. A. (2021). Impact of specific serotonin receptor modulation on behavioral flexibility. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 209, 173243. - Abstract

Chasse, R., Malyshev, A., Fitch, R. H., & Volgushev, M. (2021). Altered heterosynaptic plasticity impairs visual discrimination learning in adenosine A1 receptor knock-out mice. Journal of Neuroscience, 41(21), 4631?4640. - Abstract

Shepherd, A., Zhang, T., Hoffmann, L. B., Zeleznikow-johnston, A. M., Churilov, L., Hannan, A. J., & Burrows, E. L. (2021). A Preclinical Model of Computerized Cognitive Training : Touchscreen Cognitive Testing Enhances Cognition and Hippocampal Cellular Plasticity in Wildtype and Alzheimer?s Disease Mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 15(December), 1?15. - Abstract

Luo, J., Tan, J., & Nithianantharajah, J. (2020). Associative Learning and Motivation Differentially Requires Neuroligin-1 at Excitatory Synapses. BioRxiv, 2020.01.01.890798. - Abstract

DeBrosse, A. C., Wheeler, A. M., Barrow, J. C., & Carr, G. V. (2020). Inhibition of Catechol-O-methyltransferase Does Not Alter Effort-Related Choice Behavior in a Fixed Ratio/Concurrent Chow Task in Male Mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 14. - Abstract

Mosser, C.-A., Haqqee, Z., Nieto-Posadas, A., Murai, K., Stefano, S., Williams, S., & Brandon, M. P. (2020). The McGill-Mouse-Marmoset Platform: A Standardized Approach for High-throughput Imaging of Neuronal Dynamics During Behavior. BioRxiv. - Abstract

Fritz, R. G., Zimmermann, E., Meier, M., Mestre‐Franc?s, N., Radespiel, U., & Schmidtke, D. (2020). Neurobiological substrates of animal personality and cognition in a nonhuman primate ( Microcebus murinus ). Brain and Behavior, 10(9). - Abstract

Jager, A., Dam, S. A., Van Der Mierden, S., Oomen, C. A., Arias-Vasquez, A., Buitelaar, J. K., Kozicz, T., & Glennon, J. C. (2020). Modulation of cognitive flexibility by reward and punishment in BALB/cJ and BALB/cByJ mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 378, 112294. - Abstract

Lindstr?m, S. H., Sundberg, S. C., Larsson, M., Andersson, F. K., Broman, J., & Granseth, B. (2019). VGluT1 Deficiency Impairs Visual Attention and Reduces the Dynamic Range of Short-Term Plasticity at Corticothalamic Synapses. Cerebral Cortex. - Abstract

Piantadosi, P. T., Lieberman, A. G., Pickens, C. L., Bergstrom, H. C., & Holmes, A. (2019). A novel multichoice touchscreen paradigm for assessing cognitive flexibility in mice. Learning and Memory, 26(1), 24?30. - Abstract

Mantanona, C. P., Alsi?, 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

Tamming, R., Dumeaux, V., Langlois, L., Ellegood, J., Qiu, L., Jiang, Y., Lerch, J. P., & B?rub?, N. G. (2019). Atrx Deletion in Neurons Leads to Sexually-Dimorphic Dysregulation of miR-137 and Spatial Learning and Memory Deficits. SSRN Electronic Journal. - Abstract

Rendall, A. R., Perrino, P. A., LoTurco, J. J., & Fitch, R. H. (2019). Evaluation of visual motion perception ability in mice with knockout of the dyslexia candidate susceptibility gene Dcdc2. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 18(5). - Abstract

Radke, A. K., Zweifel, L. S., & Holmes, A. (2019). NMDA receptor deletion on dopamine neurons disrupts visual discrimination and reversal learning. Neuroscience Letters, 699, 109?114. - Abstract

Phillips, B. U., Dewan, S., Nilsson, S. R. O., Robbins, T. W., Heath, C. J., Saksida, L. M., Bussey, T. J., & Alsi?, J. (2018). Selective effects of 5-HT2C receptor modulation on performance of a novel valence-probe visual discrimination task and probabilistic reversal learning in mice. Psychopharmacology, 235(7), 2101?2111. - Abstract


Related Products

Two-choice Paired/Visual Discrimination Reversal (PD) for Rats
Two-choice Paired/Visual Discrimination Reversal (PD) for Rats
Model 89540A-R

Adapted for rats, this reversal learning task requires inhibition of prepotent responses and is known to be dependent on the prefrontal cortex.

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