Evolution of cerebral cortex involvement in the acquisition of associative learning

Behav Neurosci. 2006 Oct;120(5):1043-56. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.120.5.1043.


The presence of the c-Fos protein has been evidenced in the piriform cortex, subiculum, entorhinal and perirhinal cortices, and parietal and occipital cortices at different stages (Sessions 2, 4, and 6) in the acquisition of a trace conditioning in behaving rabbits. c-Fos immunostaining was also measured after a reminder (7th) session. c-Fos immunoreactivity increased significantly across conditioning on the contralateral side of the piriform, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parietal cortices as compared with the ipsilateral side of conditioned animals and the contralateral side of pseudo-conditioned ones. No difference in c-Fos immunostaining was observed between contra- and ipsilateral sides in the subiculum of conditioned animals. c-Fos production decreased significantly across conditioning but presented a noticeable bilateral increase after the reminder session in the piriform, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parietal cortices, but not in the subiculum. Peak production of c-Fos was observed after the 2nd and 7th (reminder) conditioning sessions for the piriform, entorhinal, perirhinal, and parietal cortices, and after the 4th session for the subiculum. It is proposed that different cortical areas process associative learning with different strengths and side dominances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology*
  • Blinking / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos / analysis
  • Rabbits
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos