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BK channel dysfunction disrupts attention-controlled behaviors and altered perseverative responses in murine instrumental learning.

This study examined the effect of knockout of KCNMA1 gene, coding for the BK channel, on cognitive and attentional functions in mice, with an aim to better understand its implications for human neurodevelopmental disorders. The study used the 3-choice serial reaction time task (3-CSRTT) to assess the learning performance, attentional abilities, and repetitive behaviors in mice lacking the KCNMA1 gene (KCNMA1-/- ) compared to wild-type (WT) controls. Results showed no significant differences in learning accuracy between the two groups. However, KCNMA1-/- mice were more prone to omitting responses to stimuli. In addition, when the timing of cue presentation was randomized, the KCNMA1-/- showed premature responses. Notably, these mice also demonstrated a marked reduction in perseverative responses, which include repeated nose-poke behaviors following decisions. These findings highlight the involvement of the KCNMA1 gene in managing attention, impulsivity, and potentially moderating repetitive actions.

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