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Effects of paradigm and inter-stimulus interval on age differences in eyeblink classical conditioning in rabbits



Effects of paradigm and inter-stimulus interval on age differences in eyeblink classical conditioning in rabbits



Learning and Memory 14(4): 287-294



The aim of this study was to examine parameters affecting age differences in eyeblink classical conditioning in a large sample of young and middle-aged rabbits. A total of 122 rabbits of mean ages of 4 or 26 mo were tested at inter-stimulus intervals (ISIs) of 600 or 750 msec in the delay or trace paradigms. Paradigm affected both age groups dramatically, with superior performance in the delay paradigm. ISI was salient as middle-aged rabbits were significantly impaired in 750-msec compared with 600-msec delays, and young rabbits were significantly less impaired in 600-msec than in 750-msec trace. Young rabbits performed equally well at both delay ISIs, and consequently, there were significant age differences in 750-msec but not in 600-msec delays. Middle-aged rabbits performed poorly at both 600- and 750-msec trace, resulting in significant age differences in 600-msec but not in 750-msec trace. Timing of the conditioned response has been associated with cerebellar cortical function. Normal aging of the cerebellar cortex likely contributed to the magnitude of the effect of ISI in delay conditioning in middle-aged rabbits. Results demonstrate that the magnitude of age differences in eyeblink conditioning can be enlarged or eliminated by ISI and paradigm.

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Accession: 013697209

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 17522017

DOI: 10.1101/lm.504107


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