Mnemonic functions of dorsal striatum and hippocampus in aversive conditioning

Behav Brain Res. 2003 Jun 16;142(1-2):99-107. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(02)00402-3.


These experiments examined the mnemonic functions of hippocampus and dorsal striatum in Pavlovian aversive conditioning. Rats were trained in a single session by presenting three paired tones and footshocks. Immediately after training, they were given microinjections of D-amphetamine or vehicle into either dorsal hippocampus or dorsal striatum. Twenty-four hours later conditioned freezing (measured as cessation of movement by infrared motion detectors) to the experimental context and to the tone were measured separately. Compared to vehicle injections, amphetamine injections into dorsal hippocampus significantly increased conditioned freezing to the context but not to the tone. Injections into dorsal striatum increased conditioned freezing to both the context and the tone. These results converge with findings from lesion experiments suggesting that hippocampus is involved in aversive conditioning with contextual CSs only, and that dorsal striatum is involved in aversive conditioning with both contextual and discrete cue CSs. The functions of the these two structures in relation to that of the amygdala in the mediation of conditioned freezing are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Association Learning / drug effects
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Avoidance Learning / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / drug effects
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Corpus Striatum / drug effects
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Dopamine Agents / pharmacology
  • Environment
  • Fear
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Hypokinesia / psychology
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans


  • Dopamine Agents
  • Amphetamine