Behavioral expression of learned fear: Updating of early memories

Carol S L Yap*, Lexine Stapinski, Rick Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The expression of learned fear emerges in a response-specific sequence where freezing occurs before fear potentiated startle (FPS) to an odor conditioned stimulus (CS; Postnatal Day [PN] 16 vs. PN 23; e.g., Hunt, 1997; Richardson, Paxinos, & Lee, 2000). Studies have shown that learned fear is expressed in a manner appropriate to the animal's age at training and not its age at test (Richardson & Fan, 2002; Richardson et al., 2000). Specifically, animals trained with an odor CS at PN 16 exhibit avoidance but not FPS when tested at PN 23. The present study shows that subsequent training with a different CS can "update" an early memory, allowing it to be expressed in a manner appropriate to the animal's age at test. This updating effect appears to be modality specific, whereby the subsequent training must involve a CS of the same sensory modality as the original training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1476
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume119
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

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