ERIC Number: EJ1059492
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Medial Auditory Thalamus Is Necessary for Acquisition and Retention of Eyeblink Conditioning to Cochlear Nucleus Stimulation
Halverson, Hunter E.; Poremba, Amy; Freeman, John H.
Learning & Memory, v22 n5 p258-266 May 2015
Associative learning tasks commonly involve an auditory stimulus, which must be projected through the auditory system to the sites of memory induction for learning to occur. The cochlear nucleus (CN) projection to the pontine nuclei has been posited as the necessary auditory pathway for cerebellar learning, including eyeblink conditioning. However, the medial auditory thalamic nuclei (MATN), consisting of the medial division of the medial geniculate, suprageniculate, and posterior interlaminar nucleus have also been implicated as a critical auditory relay to the pontine nuclei for cerebellum-dependent motor learning. The MATN also conveys auditory information to the amygdala necessary for avoidance and fear conditioning. The current study used CN stimulation to increase activity in the pontine nuclei, relative to a tone stimulus, and possibly provide sufficient input to the cerebellum for acquisition or retention of eyeblink conditioning during MATN inactivation. Primary and secondary effects of CN stimulation and MATN inactivation were examined using 2-deoxy-glucose autoradiography. Stimulation of CN increased activity in the pontine nuclei, however, this increase was not sufficient for cerebellar learning during MATN inactivation. Results of the current experiment provide additional evidence indicating the MATN may be the critical auditory relay for many associative learning tasks.
Descriptors: Associative Learning, Auditory Stimuli, Retention (Psychology), Conditioning, Eye Movements, Perceptual Motor Learning, Stimulation, Brain
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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