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Hippocampal and body temperature changes in rats during delayed matching-to-sample performance in a cold environment.

Authors
  • Ahlers, S T
  • Thomas, J R
  • Berkey, D L
Type
Published Article
Journal
Physiology & Behavior
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Nov 01, 1991
Volume
50
Issue
5
Pages
1013–1018
Identifiers
PMID: 1805262
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In order to study the effects of temperature changes induced by cold stress on working memory, telemetry thermistor probes were implanted into the hippocampal region of the brain and into the peritoneal cavity of rats. Temperatures in these regions were monitored while rats performed on a delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) task at ambient temperatures of 23 degrees C and 2 degrees C. Matching accuracy was significantly decreased during exposure to 2 degrees C, indicating a marked impairment of short-term or working memory. Temperature in the hippocampus increased 2 degrees C during exposure to 23 degrees C, but only 1 degrees C when the environmental temperature was 2 degrees C. Body temperature showed a similar but less pronounced pattern in that cold exposure attenuated the increase in temperature observed when animals performed the DMTS task. These results suggest that cold-induced impairment of working memory may be associated with subtle temperature changes in the brain.

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