TITLE

Eyeblink Conditioning in Rats Using Pontine Stimulation as a Conditioned Stimulus

AUTHOR(S)
Freeman Jr., John H.; Rabinak, Christine A.
PUB. DATE
July 2004
SOURCE
Integrative Physiological & Behavioral Science;Jul-Sept2004, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p180
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Previous studies using rabbits and ferrets found that electrical stimulation of the pontine nuclei or middle cerebellar peduncle could serve as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in eyeblink conditioning (Bao, Chen, & Thompson, 2000; Hesslow, Svensson, & Ivarsson, 1999; Steinmetz, 1990; Steinmetz, Lavond, & Thompson, 1985; 1989; Steinmetz et al., 1986; Tracy, Thompson, Krupa, & Thompson, 1998). The current study used electrical stimulation of the pontine nuclei as a CS to establish eyeblink conditioning in rats. The goals of this study were to develop a method for directly activating the CS pathway in rodents and to compare the neural circuitry underlying eyeblink conditioning in different mammalian species. Rats were given electrical stimulation through a bipolar electrode implanted in the pontine nuclei paired with a periorbital shock unconditioned stimulus (US). Paired training was followed by extinction training. A subset of rats was given a test session of paired training after receiving an infusion of muscimol into the anterior interpositus nucleus. Rats given paired presentations of the stimulation CS and US developed CRs rapidly and showed extinction. Muscimol infusion prior to the test session resulted in a reversible loss of the eyeblink CR. The results demonstrate that electrical stimulation of the pontine nuclei can be used as a CS in rodents and that the CS pathway is similar in rats, rabbits, and ferrets. In addition, the loss of CRs following muscimol inactivation shows that the conditioning produced with pontine stimulation depends on cerebellar mechanisms.
ACCESSION #
16381492

 

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