Abstract/Details

Basal Ganglia Contributions to Associative Learning: The Role of the Caudate Nucleus in Trace Eyeblink Conditioning


2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

Eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is an associative learning task in which a behaviorally salient unconditioned stimulus (US; airpuff directed towards the eye) is repeatedly paired with a behaviorally neutral conditioned stimulus (CS; whisker stimulation) until the subject responds to the CS with a conditioned response (CR, eyelid closure). In trace EBC, there is a stimulus free period that separates the offset of the CS presentation with the onset of the US presentation. Acquisition of this form of conditioning requires forebrain structures such as the hippocampus, anterior cingulate cortex, and SI barrel cortex. The basal ganglia are a collection of brain nuclei that are intimately involved with motor planning and execution. The caudate nucleus (CN) is an input structure of the basal ganglia and receives input from forebrain regions necessary for acquiring trace EBC. In these experiments, the CN of rabbits were lesioned both before and after acquisition of trace EBC to test whether the CN is necessary for memory formation, retention, or both. In separate cohorts of rabbits, recording electrodes were implanted into the CN both before and after acquisition of trace EBC in order to determine how changes in neuronal activity might underlie learning and memory in the basal ganglia network. A final experiment is described in which a neuronal tracer was injected into the primary somatosensory (SI) cortex of two rabbits in an effort to identify future targets for study in whisker-signaled trace EBC.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Neurosciences
Classification
0317: Neurosciences
Identifier / keyword
Biological sciences; Caudate nucleus; Eyeblink conditioning; Medium spiny neurons; Tonically active neurons
Title
Basal Ganglia Contributions to Associative Learning: The Role of the Caudate Nucleus in Trace Eyeblink Conditioning
Author
Flores, Luke Christopher
Number of pages
158
Publication year
2011
Degree date
2011
School code
0163
Source
DAI-B 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781124661179
Advisor
Bevan, Mark
Committee member
Disterhoft, John F.; Miller, Lee; Segraves, Mark
University/institution
Northwestern University
Department
Neuroscience Institute Graduate Program
University location
United States -- Illinois
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3456553
ProQuest document ID
871586443
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/871586443
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