Classical aversive conditioning of heart rate in curarized rats at different blood gas levels

  • Claude J. Gaebelein
  • James L. Howard
  • Richard A. Galosy
  • Paul A. Obrist


In an effort to examine whether normal blood gas tensions were essential for conditioning, paralyzed rats received a classical aversive heart rate (HR) conditioning session while respirated at different peak expired CO3 values. After the session, arterial blood was drawn for analysis. That peak expired CO2 was effective in manipulating Pco2 was indicated by a significant correlation (r = 0.594, df = 17, P < 0.05). In addition, only rats with blood gas values similar to those of anesthetized controls displayed a discriminated HR CR. These animals also had lower baseline HRs and greater HR variability. Further, 7 of the 9 rats with normal blood gas values were respirated at peak expired CO2 values from 5.0–5.1 per cent, and no animal ventilated within this range displayed abnormal values. These findings suggest that previous difficulties in obtaining classical and operant conditioning in paralyzed animals may, in part, be attributable to inadequate ventilation.


Heart Rate Variability Conditioning Session Tone Presentation Heart Rate Acceleration Heart Rate Conditioning 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude J. Gaebelein
    • 1
  • James L. Howard
    • 1
  • Richard A. Galosy
    • 1
  • Paul A. Obrist
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and the Biological Sciences Research Center of the Child Development InstituteUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

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