Rabbits with the electrolytic lesions of bilateral entorhinal cortex (EC) were trained with the hippocampal-dependent trace conditioning of the nictitating membrane response. The multiple-unit activity of the hippocampal CA1 region was recorded during conditioning. The conditioned stimulus was a tone (1 kHz, 85 dB, 200-ms duration), the unconditioned stimulus was a corneal air puff (3 psi, 150-ms duration), and the interstimulus interval was 750 ms. The EC-lesioned animals showed only 30% conditioned response (CR) by the ninth session while the sham-operated animals showed above 80% CR. The lesioned animals did not show learning-related changes in the hippocampal activity. When the training was switched to the 300-ms interstimulus interval trace conditioning, both groups learned above 80% CR. The EC-lesioned animals, however, showed less learning-related activity in the hippocampus than the sham-operated animals. These results suggest that the development of the learning-related activity in the hippocampus depends on the intact EC, and that the EC may provide a possible pathway conveying learning information from the cerebellum or cerebral cortex to the hippocampus during the trace conditioning.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.