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Behav Neurosci. 1999 Feb;113(1):204-10.

Bilateral lesions of the interpositus nucleus completely prevent eyeblink conditioning in Purkinje cell-degeneration mutant mice.

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Neuroscience Program, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-2520, USA.


The authors have previously demonstrated that Purkinje cell-degeneration (pcd) mutant mice are impaired in eyeblink conditioning (L. Chen et al., 1996a). The present study addresses the following 3 questions: (a) whether pcd mice perceive the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli as well as the wild-type mice, (b) whether pcd mice have a normal sensitization level, and (c) whether the residual learning in pcd mice is cerebellum-dependent. Results indicated that the pcd mice exhibited normal tone-induced responses in the cochlear nucleus and normal sensitivity to heat-induced pain. They showed a similar level of sensitization as the wild-type mice and were completely unable to learn conditioned eyeblinks after bilateral lesions aimed at the anterior interpositus nucleus. Thus, pcd mice are partially impaired in eyeblink conditioning because of a deficiency in learning mechanisms, and the residual learning in the pcd mice is mediated by the cerebellar nuclei.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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