Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Dragana Claflin (Advisor), Michael Hennessy (Committee Member), John Pearson (Committee Member), Larry Ream (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Corticosterone is a glucocorticoid released as part of the body's response to stress and is known to affect cognitive function, presumably via effects on the hippocampus. Trace classical eyeblink conditioning depends on the hippocampus, and has been used to examine the development of learning processes in young organisms. Experiment 1 was a dosing study, in which time course of effect of corticosterone was followed in 15-day-old Long-Evans rat pups over 24 hours for 4 different concentrations (high: 0.02 mg/g body weight (b.w.), medium: 0.01mg/g b.w., low: 0.005 mg/g b.w. and a vehicle control). In Experiment 2, two subcutaneous injections (0.02 mg/g b.w., 0.005 mg/g b.w., or vehicle control) were administered over a 3-day period, starting at PND 15. Ten days after injections, animals underwent trace classical eyeblink conditioning to examine the possible lasting effects of the elevated corticosterone levels on learning and memory. Eyeblink conditioning was affected by corticosterone treatments, but only for males, and only very early in acquisition. Males receiving the high dose of corticosterone exhibited facilitation of learning relative to controls.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Physiology

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Anatomy Commons