Retention deficit for avoidance training in hypophysectomized rats: Time-dependent enhancement of retention performance with post-training ACTH injections

Paul Ernest Gold, Robert P. Rose, Curt W. Spanis, Linda L. Hankins

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20 Scopus citations


These experiments examined the effects of hypophysectomy on retention of avoidance training. In addition, the experiments examined the effects, on retention, of post-training ACTH injections administered to hypophysectomized rats. Rats were trained in a visual discriminated avoidance Y maze. Each rat received six training trials followed by six retraining trials the next day. Retention was measured by the number of correct choices during the retraining trials. When trained with a low-footshock intensity (0.8 mA), hypophysectomized rats showed retention performance which was significantly poorer than that of intact animals. There was no significant difference in performance when the animals were trained with a higher footshock intensity (1.4 mA), in part because of poorer retention performance of intact animals under these training conditions. Under both footshock conditions, a single post-training injection of ACTH enhanced later retention performance of hypophysectomized rats. This effect on memory was timedependent; injections delayed 2 or 6 hr after training did not significantly enhance retention. These findings are consistent with the view that hormonal responses to training may modulate later retention of the training experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalHormones and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Psychology(all)

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