Indexed on: 03 Jun '09Published on: 03 Jun '09Published in: Behavioral neuroscience
Hippocampal lesions impair aversive trace conditioning but do not interfere with appetitive Pavlovian trace conditioning of the licking response (LR). This experiment examined whether learning to discriminate the events occurring in the home cage and in the training chamber could account for the differential effects of hippocampal lesions on aversive and appetitive trace conditioning. Performance of rats with excitotoxic lesions of the hippocampus was compared to that of sham-operated rats in LR trace conditioning. The unconditional stimulus (US) "cola soft drink" was delivered only in the training chamber. Thus, as in aversive conditioning procedures, the hedonic properties of the US and the resulting behaviors and motivational states occurred only in that environment. The results failed to reveal learning differences between lesioned rats and controls. Our findings and those of other reports concur that trace conditioning with an appetitive US is independent of the hippocampal system.