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. 2005 Feb;119(1):329-35.
doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.119.1.329.

Olfactory-mediated Fear Conditioning in Mice: Simultaneous Measurements of Fear-Potentiated Startle and Freezing

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Free PMC article

Olfactory-mediated Fear Conditioning in Mice: Simultaneous Measurements of Fear-Potentiated Startle and Freezing

Seth V Jones et al. Behav Neurosci. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

This study demonstrates that mice display olfactory-cued fear as measured with both freezing and fear-potentiated startle. Following a preconditioning test to measure any unconditioned responses to odor, mice received 5 pairings of a 10-s odor with a 0.25-s, 0.4-mA footshock. The next day, startle and freezing were measured in the presence and absence of the odor. Both fear measures increased after training with amyl acetate (Experiment 1) and acetophenone (Experiment 2). The enhancement of startle did not occur when the same number of odors and shocks were presented in an unpaired fashion (Experiment 3). Furthermore, mice were able to discriminate between an odor paired with shock and a nonreinforced odor (Experiment 4).

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
a: In Experiment 1, mice showed more fear-potentiated startle with an amyl acetate cue after the odor was paired with shock. b: Mice showed increased freezing in the presence of amyl acetate after the odor was paired with a shock. c: In Experiment 2, mice showed an increase in fear-potentiated startle after the odor acetophenone was paired with a shock. d: Mice showed increased freezing in the presence of acetophenone after the odor was paired with a shock. *p < .05
Figure 2
Figure 2
a: To control for nonassociative effects in Experiment 3, we compared odor–shock paired mice with mice in which the odor and shock were explicitly unpaired. In the posttest, the paired mice showed an increase in fear-potentiated startle, but the unpaired group did not. b: Mice in the paired, but not the unpaired, group showed increased freezing from the pretest to posttest. c: Experiment 4 tested for discrimination of two odors in fear conditioning. Some mice received amyl acetate paired with shock and acetophenone as the odor-alone stimulus, and others received the opposite. When tested, the mice showed an increase in fear-potentiated startle to the reinforced odor, but not to the nonreinforced odor. d: Mice also showed an increase in freezing to the odor that was paired with shock, but not to the nonreinforced odor. *p < .05

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