This test was carried out as earlier described [37]. The NORT consists of two phases: the trial phase and the test phase. NORT trial phase started 4 h after the last administration of PEAC and test phase was conducted after an interval of 4 h. The trial phase was carried out by placing each rat in the middle of two identical objects (A and B) on opposite sides (at a distance of 8 cm from the walls and 34 cm from each other) of the open-field chamber for 5 min. Thereafter, the animals were returned to their cages for an interval of 4 h. In the test phase, object B was replaced with object C, which was novel to the animals and different from either object A or B. The rat was then left to explore objects A and C for a period of 5 min. The apparatus was cleaned after each test and the time spent (in seconds) in exploring each of the objects was recorded in both phases. The discrimination index (DI) was calculated as the difference in time of exploration of the novel and familiar object divided by the total amount of time spent with both objects [37].

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