Abolition of the acquisition but not the expression of latent inhibition by chlordiazepoxide in rats

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Abstract

In the latent inhibition (LI) paradigm, prior nonreinforced exposure to a stimulus retards subsequent conditioning to that stimulus when it is paired with reinforcement. The development of LI reflects learning not to attend to, or ignore, stimuli which predict no significant consequences. The present experiment tested the effects of chlordiazepoxide (CDP) on LI using a conditioned emotional response (CER) procedure consisting of three stages given 24 hr apart: preexposure, in which the to-be-conditioned stimulus, tone, was presented without reinforcement; conditioning, in which the preexposed stimulus was paired with shock; and test, where LI was indexed by animals' suppression of licking during tone presentation. Preexposure and conditioning were given off-baseline. CDP (5 mg/kg) was administered only in preexposure, only in conditioning, in both stages or in neither. The administration of the drug during tone-shock conditioning conducted off-baseline markedly reduced animals' suppression to the tone in a subsequent licking test which was conducted without the drug. The administration of CDP during nonreinforced preexposure to the tone abolished the development of LI, i.e., drug-treated preexposed animals did not show reduced suppression as compared to drug-treated nonpreexposed animals. These results demonstrate that CDP: a) blocks the acquisition of classically conditioned fear and b) disrupts animals' ability to learn that stimuli predict no significant outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1989

Keywords

  • Chlordiazepoxide
  • Latent inhibition
  • Off-baseline conditioned suppression
  • Rat

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