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Behav Neurosci. 2004 Apr;118(2):274-81.

Corticosterone influences on Mammalian neonatal sensitive-period learning.

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA. smoriceau@ou.edu

Abstract

Infant rats exhibit sensitive-period odor learning characterized by olfactory bulb neural changes and odor preference acquisitions critical for survival. This sensitive period is coincident with low endogenous corticosterone (CORT) levels and stress hyporesponsivity. The authors hypothesized that low corticosterone levels modulate sensitive-period learning. They assessed the effects of manipulating CORT levels by increasing and removing CORT during (Postnatal Day 8) and after (Postnatal Day 12) the sensitive period. Results show that (a) exogenous CORT prematurely ends sensitive-period odor-shock-induced preferences; (b) adrenalectomy developmentally extends the sensitive period as indicated by odor-shock-induced odor-preference learning in older pups, whereas CORT replacement can reinstate fear learning; and (c) CORT manipulation modulates olfactory bulb correlates of sensitive-period odor learning in a manner consistent with behavior.

PMID:
15113251
PMCID:
PMC1868531
DOI:
10.1037/0735-7044.118.2.274
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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