Short-term behavioral and electrophysiological consequences of underwater trauma

Physiol Behav. Aug-Sep 2000;70(3-4):327-32. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(00)00274-2.


In a previous work we found that a 30-s underwater trauma, following 8 days of training for a spatial memory task in the water maze, resulted in poor performance in the spatial memory task at both 1 h and 3 weeks after the trauma. Here we found that compared with naive animals and animals that were trained for the spatial learning task but were not traumatized, the traumatized rats showed impaired performance in a spatial learning task in the water maze 20 min after the trauma and a reduced level of dentate gyrus long-term potentiation (LTP) 40 min after high-frequency stimulation to the perforant path. We also found a positive correlation between the behavioral performance and hippocampal plasticity. The reduced ability to induce LTP suggests that the trauma-related behavioral impairment is mediated by hippocampal-dependent processes. The underwater trauma may provide an important and potentially powerful model for understanding the mechanisms underlying the relationship between stress, cognition, and learning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Diving / psychology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electrophysiology
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology
  • Male
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*