ERIC Number: EJ855939
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Spatial Discrimination Reversal Learning in Weanling Rats Is Impaired by Striatal Administration of an NMDA-Receptor Antagonist
Watson, Deborah J.; Stanton, Mark E.
Learning & Memory, v16 n9 p564-572 Sep 2009
The striatum plays a major role in both motor control and learning and memory, including executive function and "behavioral flexibility." Lesion, temporary inactivation, and infusion of an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist into the dorsomedial striatum (dmSTR) impair reversal learning in adult rats. Systemic administration of MK-801 disrupts reversal learning in developing rats, as reported in an earlier work by Chadman et al., but it is not known whether NMDA-receptor function within the dmSTR plays a role in this effect. In Experiment 1, reversal learning was dose-dependently impaired following bilateral dmSTR administration of MK-801 (either 2.5 or 5.0 [micro]g) only during the reversal phase relative to saline in postnatal day (P) 26 rats. In Experiment 2, separate groups of P26 rats were trained on the same reversal learning task, but were administered bilateral dmSTR infusions during acquisition only (MK-SAL), reversal only (SAL-MK), both phases (MK-MK), or neither phase (SAL-SAL). The MK-801 effect was specific to the reversal training phase. The drug did not alter acquisition of the initial discrimination. Analysis of the pattern of errors indicates that dmSTR MK-801 treatment increased perseveration of the choice response trained in acquisition. NMDA receptors in the dmSTR play a role in reversal learning in the weanling rat.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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