Brain noradrenergic responses to training and to amnestic frontal cortex stimulation

Paul E. Gold, James M. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Rats were trained in a one-trial inhibitory (passive) avoidance task prior to receiving supraseizure electrical stimulation of frontal cortex, a treatment that results in amnesia. Forebrain and brainstem norepinephrine (NE) concentrations decreased by 23% 10 min after footshock training. Posttraining frontal cortex stimulation resulted in a potentiation of the forebrain NE response (to 31–33% below control values) and in attenuation of the brainstem response (0–5% lower than control values). These results are consistent with previous findings that indicate that good retention performance is predicted by training and treatment conditions that result in approximately a 20% decrease in brain NE content as measured 10 min after training; deviations from this optimal level, presumably reflecting more or less NE release, predict poor retention in comparably trained and treated rats. Thus, memory storage processing appears to be sensitive to many manipulations that alter the endogenous posttraining brain NE response to footshock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


  • Amnesia
  • Avoidance training
  • Electroshock
  • Memory storage processes
  • Norepinephrine
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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