CS-US Preexposure Effects on Trace Eyeblink Conditioning in Young Rats: Potential Implications for Functional Brain Development
Recent studies of delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) in young rats have demonstrated different effects of various conditioned and unconditioned stimulus (CS-US) preexposure conditions on learning at different ages. The present study extends this research to trace EBC. Subjects experienced 1 of 3 preexposure conditions (paired CS-US, unpaired CS-US, or no stimuli) at either 20 or 24 days of age. Four days later, they were conditioned using either trace (Experiment 1) or delay (Experiment 2) EBC parameters. Results were similar at both ages tested. Paired preexposure facilitated acquisition of delay but not trace relative to context preexposure. Unpaired preexposure impaired acquisition of both delay and trace. These behavioral findings provide a foundation for hypotheses about the functional maturation of cerebellar, hippocampal, and entorhinal learning circuits.
Claflin, D. I.,
& Buffington, M. L.
(2006). CS-US Preexposure Effects on Trace Eyeblink Conditioning in Young Rats: Potential Implications for Functional Brain Development. Behavioral Neuroscience, 120 (2), 257-266.