Neuroendocrine modulation of memory during development

Paul Ernest Gold, James M. Murphy, Susan Cooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of four experiments examined the possible roles of catecholamines and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in infantile amnesia. Juvenile (14-20 days) rats were trained in a one-trial inhibitory avoidance task. In this task, good retention performance appeared in 16-day-old rats when tested at 1 hr but not 24 hr after training; good 24-hr retention performance was first seen in 20-day-old rats. A single posttraining injection (subcutaneous) of either epinephrine or norepinephrine (NE), but not ACTH, enhanced 24-hr retention performance in the 16-day-old rats. Transient decreases in forebrain norepinephrine content in response to a training footshock were observed in 16-day and older animals; brainstem responses apparently matured prior to 14 days of age. When brain NE was examined in 16-day-old rats that received training and peripheral memory-facilitating epinephrine injections, there was little correlation between later retention performance and the extent of change in brain norepinephrine content. These results may be due to age-related differences in norepinephrine release or metabolism. The findings of these studies suggest that peripheral catecholamine systems known to modulate adult memory may account, in part, for the phenomenon of infantile amnesia. The results support the view that memory storage mechanisms may mature earlier than do memory modulation systems responsible for initiating and promoting storage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-293
Number of pages17
JournalBehavioral and Neural Biology
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

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Norepinephrine
Amnesia
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Epinephrine
Catecholamines
Brain
Subcutaneous Injections
Prosencephalon
Brain Stem
Learning
Injections
Retention (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this

Neuroendocrine modulation of memory during development. / Gold, Paul Ernest; Murphy, James M.; Cooley, Susan.

In: Behavioral and Neural Biology, Vol. 35, No. 3, 1982, p. 277-293.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gold, Paul Ernest ; Murphy, James M. ; Cooley, Susan. / Neuroendocrine modulation of memory during development. In: Behavioral and Neural Biology. 1982 ; Vol. 35, No. 3. pp. 277-293.
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