Repeated non-reinforced exposures of a neutral stimulus retard the development of a conditioned response to that stimulus when it is subsequently paired with a significant event. This stimulus pre-exposure effect is known as latent inhibition (LI). Early lesion studies have initially suggested an important role for the hippocampus in the normal development and expression of LI. This view has since been modified with the emergence of data derived from selective cell body lesions of the hippocampus and of the entorhinal cortex, with an abolition of LI only seen after lesions of the latter. This suggests that the significance of the hippocampus might have been overestimated in the past, possibly due to interruption of fibres en passage. However, intact behavioural expression of LI following hippocampal damage does not preclude the suggestion that the hippocampus participates in the control and regulation of LI expression in intact animals. The present study demonstrated that whilst cell body lesions of the ventral hippocampus spared LI (as expected), chemical activation of the ventral hippocampus by local N-methyl-D-aspartate infusion disrupted LI. These results parallel our earlier observations on prepulse inhibition (PPI) with similar manipulations [Neuroreport 10 (1999) 2533]. Thus, although the ventral hippocampus is itself not responsible for the behavioural manifestation of LI and PPI, it exerts at least a modulatory control over the form and/or magnitude of their expression. Our results should prompt a re-evaluation of the relative roles of the hippocampus and retrohippocampus in the development and expression of LI.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2004|
- Intracerebral infusion
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