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Behav Neurosci. 2004 Jun;118(3):526-39.

One-trial odor-reward association: a form of event memory not dependent on hippocampal function.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience and Centre for Neuroscience Research, University of Edinburgh, 1 George Square, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.


To examine whether the hippocampus is required for memory for unique experiences independent of their spatial or temporal context, the authors devised a novel task that requires rats to remember odor-reward associations formed within a single training trial. Unlike previous tests of 1-trial memory, in this task new associations with otherwise familiar stimuli must be formed, and accurate judgments cannot be based on relative familiarity or recency of the stimuli. The authors show that intact rats performed well on this novel test of event memory. Furthermore, rats with lesions of the hippocampus showed no impairments, even over long retention intervals. These data suggest that the hippocampus is not required for event-specific stimulus-reward associations and that other brain structures mediate this aspect of episodic memory.

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