Motac Cognition offers a wide range of highly-specialised services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for the preclinical development of new treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders which are associated with cognitive impairment. We have extensive, in-house, world-class expertise in the development and application of models of cognitive performance. We are, therefore, able to offer expert advice on study design as well as performing studies to a high quality and to agreed timelines.

Cognitive performance is quantified using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), which consists of a series of assessment tools known to be sensitive to cognitive impairment, and an automated movement assessment panel (MAP) which assesses fine motor function and motor learning.

These assessment tools are applied to preclinical models of:

Aging. Age-related cognitive impairment is quantified. This provides an ideal platform for evaluating cognition-enhancing strategies which are particularly relevant for development of cognitive performance enhancers, targeting Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Parkinson’s disease. Cognitive impairment associated with mild parkinsonism is quantified. This has particular relevance to the development of cognition-enhancing drugs to treat the neuropsychological aspects of Parkinson’s disease as well as the negative symptoms of schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Normal cognition. Normal cognitive performance is quantified, thus providing the ability to assess the effects on cognition (positive or negative) of essentially any new therapeutic agent under development in any field.

The panel of tasks available include:

Intra/Extra-Dimensional Set Shift and Visual Discrimination (ID/ED). This is the CANTAB equivalent of the Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test, an executive functioning task that assesses cognitive flexibility, set shifting ability and concept formation. Executive functioning is affected in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Spatial Working Memory. This is a test of spatial working memory with various levels of difficulty. Spatial working memory is affected in a variety of neurological disorders.

Delayed Matching/Non-Matching to Sample. This is a temporal short-term visual memory task with various levels of difficulty, sensitive to mild Alzheimer’s disease.

Five-Choice Serial Reaction Time. This is an attentional task, which is impaired in mild Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Paired Associate Learning Task. This is a conditional learning and memory task, which is also sensitive to early Alzheimer’s disease.

Variable Delayed Response. This is a spatial working memory task with attentional and memory components.

Variable Delayed Matching to Sample. This is a non-spatial working memory task with attentional and memory components

Delayed Alternation. This is a non-spatial working memory task with low attentional demand.

Visual Pattern Discrimination. This is a reference memory task with low attentional demand.

Attentional Set Shifting/Cognitive Flexibility Task. This task is based on the principle of the Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test. It assesses executive functioning, cognitive flexibility, set shifting ability and concept formation.

Distractibility. Distraction paradigms can be employed with a variety of tasks including variable delayed response and variable delayed matching to sample.

Visuospatial Attention Shifting. This task assesses the ability to shift visual attention.

Motor Readiness (Impulse Control) Task. This task requires time estimation, has a high attentional load and is dependent upon the integrity of the dopaminergic system to be performed correctly.

Cued Reaction Time (Focused Attention) Task. This assesses the ability to focus attention and use advance information for successful task performance.



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