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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2007 Jul;88(1):11-8. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

Metabolic mapping of the rat cerebellum during delay and trace eyeblink conditioning.

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Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, E11 SSH, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.


The essential neural circuitry for delay eyeblink conditioning has been largely identified, whereas much of the neural circuitry for trace conditioning has not been identified. The major difference between delay and trace conditioning is a time gap between the presentation of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US) during trace conditioning. It is this time gap or trace interval which accounts for an additional memory component in trace conditioning. Additional neural structures are also necessary for trace conditioning, including hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. This addition of forebrain structures necessary for trace but not delay conditioning suggests other brain areas become involved when a memory gap is added to the conditioning parameters. A metabolic marker of energy use, radioactively labeled glucose analog, was used to compare differences in glucose analog uptake between delay, trace, and unpaired experimental groups in order to identify new areas of involvement within the cerebellum. Known structures such as the interpositus nucleus and lobule HVI showed increased activation for both delay and trace conditioning compared to unpaired conditioning. However, there was a differential amount of activation between anterior and posterior portions of the interpositus nucleus between delay and trace, respectively. Cerebellar cortical areas including lobules IV and V of anterior lobe, Crus I, Crus II, and paramedian lobule also showed increases in activity for delay conditioning but not for trace conditioning. Delay and trace eyeblink conditioning both resulted in increased metabolic activity within the cerebellum but delay conditioning resulted in more widespread cerebellar cortical activation.

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