Hippocampal lesions and pavlovian cardiovascular conditioning
New Zealand albino rabbits received either sham, cortical control, or hippocampal lesions and were subjected to differential Pavlovian conditioning in which tones of different frequencies served as conditional stimuli (CSs), and a brief paraorbital electric shock train served as the unconditional stimulus. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and electromyographic (EMG) conditional responses (CRs) were recorded. Animals with cortical and hippocampal damage or animals with cortical damage alone revealed attenuated bradycardiac CRs, but HR CRs of the former two groups did not significantly differ. BP changes were minimal; reliable differences were not obtained between CS+ and CS−. However, these changes consisted of small but reliable depressor responses, which were not affected by either cortical or hippocampal lesions. Few EMG CRs were obtained. These data, combined with those of previous experiments, suggest that forebrain structures may modulate higher level processing of stimulus information, perhaps in terms of assessing the biological significance of such stimulation.
KeywordsConditional Stimulus Blood Pressure Response Pavlovian Conditioning Hippocampal Lesion Ventral Hippocampus
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