Hippocampus NMDA receptors selectively mediate latent extinction of place learning. Academic Article uri icon


  • Extinction of maze learning may be achieved with or without the animal performing the previously acquired response. In typical "response extinction," animals are given the opportunity to make the previously acquired approach response toward the goal location of the maze without reinforcement. In "latent extinction," animals are not given the opportunity to make the previously acquired response and instead are confined to the previous goal location without reinforcement. Previous evidence indicates that the effectiveness of these protocols may depend on the type of memory being extinguished. Thus, one aim of the present study was to further examine the effectiveness of response and latent extinction protocols across dorsolateral striatum (DLS)-dependent response learning and hippocampus-dependent place learning tasks. In addition, previous neural inactivation experiments indicate a selective role for the hippocampus in latent extinction, but have not investigated the precise neurotransmitter mechanisms involved. Thus, the present study also examined whether latent extinction of place learning might depend on NMDA receptor activity in the hippocampus. In experiment 1, adult male Long-Evans rats were trained in a response learning task in a water plus-maze, in which animals were reinforced to make a consistent body-turn response to reach an invisible escape platform. Results indicated that response extinction, but not latent extinction, was effective at extinguishing memory in the response learning task. In experiment 2, rats were trained in a place learning task, in which animals were reinforced to approach a consistent spatial location containing the hidden escape platform. In experiment 2, animals also received intra-hippocampal infusions of the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphopentanoic acid (AP5; 5.0 or 7.5 ug/0.5 g) or saline vehicle immediately before response or latent extinction training. Results indicated that both extinction protocols were effective at extinguishing memory in the place learning task. In addition, intra-hippocampal AP5 (7.5 g) impaired latent extinction, but not response extinction, suggesting that hippocampal NMDA receptors are selectively involved in latent extinction. 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Hippocampus

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Goodman, J., Gabriele, A., & Packard, M. G.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Goodman, Jarid||Gabriele, Amanda||Packard, Mark G

publication date

  • January 2016