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Sensory system development influences the ontogeny of trace eyeblink conditioning.

Authors
  • Goldsberry, Mary E1
  • Freeman, John H1
  • 1 Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental Psychobiology
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
Volume
59
Issue
1
Pages
70–76
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/dev.21468
PMID: 27540891
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The developmental emergence of delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is dependent on the development of the sensory system stimulated by the conditioned stimulus (CS). However, trace EBC has traditionally been believed to be dependent on the development of forebrain structures, such as the hippocampus. If hippocampal development alone is limiting the developmental emergence of trace EBC, then using an earlier developing sensory modality should not affect the rate or asymptote of conditioning. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether using a vibration CS would facilitate the ontogeny of trace EBC relative to an auditory CS. Rat pups received six sessions of trace EBC or unpaired training using either a tone or vibration CS on postnatal day (P) 17-18, 21-22, or 24-25. Training with a vibration CS resulted in rapid conditioning as early as P17-18, whereas training with a tone CS did not result in rapid conditioning until after P17-18. The results suggest that the ontogeny of trace EBC depends, at least in part, on sensory system development.

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