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Sensory system development influences the ontogeny of eyeblink conditioning.

Authors
  • Goldsberry, Mary E
  • Elkin, Magdalyn E
  • Freeman, John H
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental Psychobiology
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2014
Volume
56
Issue
6
Pages
1244–1251
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/dev.21204
PMID: 24519393
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

A rate-limiting factor in the ontogeny of auditory eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is the development of sensory inputs to the pontine nucleus. One possible way to facilitate the emergence of EBC would be to use a conditioned stimulus (CS) that activates an earlier-developing sensory system. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether using a vibration CS would facilitate the ontogeny of delay EBC relative to an auditory CS. Rat pups received six sessions of delay EBC or unpaired training using either a tone or vibration CS on postnatal day (P)14-15, 17-18, 21-22, or 24-25. Conditioning with a vibration CS resulted in rapid learning as early as P17-18, whereas conditioning with a tone CS did not result in rapid conditioning until after P17-18. Control experiments verified that the differences in EBC were due to CS-specific sensory properties. The results suggest that the ontogeny of EBC depends on sensory system development.

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