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Comparison of the effects of early handling and early deprivation on conditioned stimulus, context, and spatial learning and memory in adult rats


Comparison of the effects of early handling and early deprivation on conditioned stimulus, context, and spatial learning and memory in adult rats



Behavioral Neuroscience 117(5): 883-893



ISSN/ISBN: 0735-7044

PMID: 14570539

DOI: 10.1037/0735-7044.117.5.883

Effects of manipulations of the rat pup-dam relationship on affective learning and memory in adulthood have received scant systematic investigation. The authors previously described how early handling (EH; 15 min isolation/day) and early deprivation (ED; 4 hr isolation/day) exert similar effects on spontaneous adult affect (open-field behavior, acoustic startle, endocrine stress response) relative to nonhandling (NH; C. R. Pryce, D. Bettschen, N. I. Bahr, & J. Feldon, 2001). The present study demonstrates that both EH and ED adults exhibit enhanced active avoidance relative to NH adults. Fear-conditioned context and conditioned stimulus (CS) freezing were unaffected in both EH and ED, but stress hormone responses to the CS were reduced in EH males and ED females relative to NH. In the water maze, ED adults exhibited enhanced spatial learning and memory relative to NH.

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Accession: 009799440

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