Sensory preconditioning in newborn rabbits: from common to distinct odor memories

Learn Mem. 2013 Aug 15;20(9):453-8. doi: 10.1101/lm.030965.113.


This study evaluated whether olfactory preconditioning is functional in newborn rabbits and based on joined or independent memory of odorants. First, after exposure to odorants A+B, the conditioning of A led to high responsiveness to odorant B. Second, responsiveness to B persisted after amnesia of A. Third, preconditioning was also functional with two overlapping pairs of odorants (A+B and B+C) and amnesia of one odorant did not affect memory of the others. Thus, incidental pairing of odorants allows reinforcement of one odorant to implicitly reinforce the others, the bond then vanishes, and the memory of each element becomes independent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Conditioning, Psychological*
  • Memory*
  • Odorants
  • Rabbits
  • Smell*