Early experience influences adult retention of aversively motivated tasks in normal, but not DSP4‐treated rats

Catherine A. Cornwell‐Jones, Pattijo Velasquez, Eileen L. Wright, James L. McGaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sprague‐Dawley rat pups were injected with DSP4 or water within 48 hr of birth and tested as adults in an inhibitory avoidance task and in a Y‐maze discrimination reversal task. Half of the animals were also tested as juveniles during postnatal weeks 4–5, in tasks assessing odor preferences and general investigatory behavior. Controls, but not drug‐treated adults, which received the juvenile testing, showed significantly better retention on both tasks than either controls or drug‐treated animals not tested as juveniles. Neonatal DSP4 significantly reduced norepinephrine concentrations in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, but not the heart. The results suggest that central norepinephrine may modulate the effects of early experience on adult learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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