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Bilateral nature of the conditioned eyeblink response in the rabbit: behavioral characteristics and potential mechanisms.

Authors
  • Lee, Taekwan
  • Kim, Jeansok J
  • Wagner, Allan R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Behavioral neuroscience
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2008
Volume
122
Issue
6
Pages
1306–1317
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1037/a0013591
PMID: 19045950
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning, the conditioned response (CR) is highly lateralized to the eye to which the unconditioned stimulus (US) has been directed. However, the initial conditioning of one eye can facilitate subsequent conditioning of the other eye, a phenomenon known as the intereye transfer (IET) effect. Because a conditioned emotional response (CER), as well as the eyeblink CR, is acquired during eyeblink conditioning and influences the development of the CR, the CER acquired in initial training can plausibly account for the IET effect. To evaluate this possibility, the present study utilized previously determined eyeblink conditioning procedures that effectively decouple the degree of CER and CR development to investigate the IET effect. In each of 3 experiments rabbits were initially trained with comparison procedures that differentially favored the development of the eyeblink CR or the CER, prior to a shift of the US to the alternate eye. The observed differences in the IET suggest that the effect depends largely on the specific development of eyeblink CRs rather than the CER. The neurobiological implications of this apparent bilaterality of the eyeblink CR are discussed.

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