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ERIC Number: EJ1018762
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0502
Memory Retrieval before or after Extinction Reduces Recovery of Fear in Adolescent Rats
Baker, Kathryn D.; McNally, Gavan P.; Richardson, Rick
Learning & Memory, v20 n9 p467-473 Sep 2013
Adolescent rats exhibit impaired extinction retention compared to pre-adolescent and adult rats. A single nonreinforced exposure to the conditioned stimulus (CS; a retrieval trial) given shortly before extinction has been shown in some circumstances to reduce the recovery of fear after extinction in adult animals. This study investigated whether a retrieval-extinction procedure would reduce the recovery of extinguished fear in adolescent rats. Furthermore, the effect of the retrieval-extinction sequence on fear recovery was examined by presenting the retrieval trial following extinction to some animals. In Experiment 1 adolescent rats received one nonreinforced CS presentation (a retrieval trial) or equivalent context exposure (no retrieval) 10 min before fear extinction. A retrieval trial shortly before extinction reduced overall levels of fear in both test contexts (i.e., it improved extinction retention and reduced renewal). In Experiment 2 a weakening of renewal was observed with a retrieval-extinction manipulation, regardless of whether the retrieval trial occurred in the training or extinction context. A key result was that a retrieval trial 10 min, but not 6 h, "after" extinction led to reduced overall levels of fear similar to that observed if the retrieval trial was given before extinction (Experiments 3 and 4), inconsistent with the current interpretation of the reduction in relapse being due to a disruption of reconsolidation. Together, these findings show that the impaired extinction retention observed in adolescents can be ameliorated by a very simple behavioral manipulation, but also raise some questions about the mechanisms underlying the retrieval-extinction effect.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A