The dorsal hippocampus is essential for context discrimination but not for contextual conditioning

Frankland, P. W., Cestari, V., Filipkowski, R. K., McDonald, R. J., Silva, A. J. (August 1998) The dorsal hippocampus is essential for context discrimination but not for contextual conditioning. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112 (4). pp. 863-74. ISSN 0735-7044 (Print)



The authors describe how (a) the timing of hippocampal lesions and (b) the behavioral-representational demands of the task affect the requirement for the hippocampus in contextual fear conditioning. Post- but not pretraining lesions of the hippocampus greatly reduced contextual fear conditioning. In contrast, pretraining lesions of the hippocampus abolished context discrimination, a procedure in which mice are trained to discriminate between 2 similar chambers (shock context vs. no-shock context). Whereas either contextual- or cue-based strategies can be used to recognize an aversive context, discrimination between similar contexts is optimally acquired by contextual (hippocampal)-based strategies. In keeping with the lesion results, Nf1(+/-)/Nmdar1(+/-) mutant mice, which have spatial learning deficits, are impaired in context discrimination but not in contextual conditioning. Together, these data dissociate hippocampal and nonhippocampal contributions to contextual conditioning, and they provide direct evidence that the hippocampus plays an essential role in the processing of contextual stimuli.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Analysis of Variance Animals Association Learning/physiology Conditioning, Classical/ physiology Cues Discrimination (Psychology)/ physiology Discrimination Learning/physiology Electroshock Fear/ physiology Female Generalization, Stimulus/physiology Hippocampus/ physiology Male Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Motor Activity/physiology Orientation/physiology Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > fear
organism description > animal > gender > female
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > hippocampus
organism description > animal > gender > male
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Yin lab
Depositing User: Kathleen Darby
Date: August 1998
Date Deposited: 05 May 2014 15:13
Last Modified: 07 May 2014 13:29
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving