Hippocampal lesions impair memory of short-delay conditioned eye blink in rabbits

Behav Neurosci. 1989 Oct;103(5):935-43. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.103.5.935.


Involvement of hippocampus in short-delay eye blink conditioning was reexamined during conditioned response (CR) consolidation. Rabbits received bilateral hippocampectomy, removal of overlying neocortex, or sham lesions and were trained with tone/puff pairings to early acquisition (consolidation) or well trained (overtraining); retention was tested. Two effects were observed: 1) Rabbits with hippocampal lesions showed less retention in the consolidation experiment than controls. Previous studies may not have found this because initial training was more complete. Overtrained hippocampal rabbits showed more retention, which agrees with this suggestion. 2) Hippocampectomized rabbits showed larger CR amplitudes in the overtraining experiment. The complementary roles of hippocampus in the consolidation process during early learning and in modulating the expression of the amplitude/time course of behavioral conditioned responses after associations are well learned are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Conditioning, Eyelid / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Rabbits
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology