The Pemoline Model of Self-Injurious Behavior: An Update

  • Darragh P. DevineEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2011)


Neurodevelopmental disorders typically comprise a complex constellation of behavioral symptoms and neurochemical abnormalities. However, many of the symptoms are inconsistently expressed within any one particular patient group or overlap between patient groups. In other words, there is usually heterogeneity of symptoms between diagnostic groups, and there is often partial homogeneity of symptoms across these groups. These include cognitive deficits, emotional lability, and perseverative or aberrant behaviors. Animal models of neurodevelopmental disorders typically reproduce or mimic specific genetic, neurochemical, and/or behavioral sequelae, although they typically fail to replicate the entire spectrum of biological and behavioral characteristics. Indeed, it may be impractical or even impossible to model the entire spectrum of characteristics of a disorder in any single animal model. A focus on one or more specific behavioral characteristics that occur in multiple neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., self-injury) may be a fruitful strategy. The development of these behaviorally focused models may yield increased understanding of the endogenous and environmental factors that confer vulnerability for aberrant behaviors that commonly occur in these disorders. One such behaviorally focused animal model is the pemoline model of self-injurious behavior.

Key words

Self-injurious behavior Autism Pemoline Methodology Behavioral pharmacology Dopamine Striatum Animal model 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience ProgramUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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