Unilateral conditioning of an odor aversion in 6-day-old rat pups.
In young rats, several forms of olfactory memory can be functionally localized to one side of the brain by restricting training stimuli to one naris and corresponding olfactory bulb. In the experiment, the analysis of lateralized olfactory learning in 6-day-old rat pups was extended by an evaluation of the consequences of aversive reinforcers in a unilateral olfactory conditioning paradigm. An olfactory aversion was conditioned by delivering a mild footshock to animals in the presence of a novel odor. Olfactory stimulation was confined to one naris and corresponding olfactory bulb by inserting a soft rubber plug into the opposite naris. This lateralization in processing resulted in unilateral memory for the odor aversion that was only expressed when the trained naris was open during an odor preference test. The hypothesis that the hedonic value (or valence) component of conditioning is represented in structures that are unilaterally accessed during training and testing is discussed.
Kucharski, D; Arnold, HM; Hall, WG
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