Rats underwent Pavlovian defensive conditioning (noise paired with shock) while under general anesthesia. Peripheral administration of epinephrine (0.01 to 1.0 milligram per kilogram of body weight) during training resulted in the acquisition ofconditionedfear, as shown 10 days later by conditioned suppression of water drinking. Analysis of heart rate and measurement of reflexes during training indicated that epinephrine did not lighten the state of anesthesia. These results indicate that epinephrine enables the learning of conditioned fear in the anesthetized brain.
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