This study uses an operant, behavioral model to assess the daily changes in the decay rate of short-term memory, motivation, and motor ability in rats exposed to chronic restraint. Restraint decreased reward-related motivation by 50% without altering memory decay rate or motor ability. Moreover, chronic restraint impaired hippocampal-dependent spatial memory on the Y maze (4-hr delay) and produced CA3 dendritic retraction without altering hippocampal-independent maze navigation (1-min delay) or locomotion. Thus, mechanisms underlying motivation for food reward differ from those underlying Y maze exploration, and neurobiological substrates of spatial memory, such as the hippocampus, differ from those that underlie short-term memory. Chronic restraint produces functional, neuromorphological, and physiological alterations that parallel symptoms of depression in humans.
Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.