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Hippocampus. 2005;15(1):18-25.

Context-dependent effects of hippocampal damage on memory in the shock-probe test.

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Department of Psychology, Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


We assessed the role of the hippocampus in anterograde memory, using the shock-probe test. Rats with sham or neurotoxic lesions of the hippocampus were given a shock-probe acquisition session during which each time they contacted a probe they received a shock; 24 h later, the rats were given a second shock-probe session to test their retention, but in this instance the probe was not electrified. Rats were tested in either the same context as the one used during acquisition or in a different context. The hippocampal lesions impaired avoidance of the probe and burying on the retention test, suggesting that the lesions induced anterograde amnesia. However, the impairment was context dependent. The hippocampal lesions impaired avoidance only when the rats were tested in the context in which they received the conditioning. The results of the shock-probe test suggest that the anterograde amnesia following hippocampal lesions is due mainly to an inability to associate the context with the shock more than to an inability to associate the probe with shock.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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