Post-training reversible inactivation of hippocampus reveals interference between memory systems.
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A post-training reversible lesion technique was used to examine the effects of neural inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus on place and response learning. Male Long-Evans rats trained in one of two versions of a water plus-maze task received post-training intra-hippocampal infusions of the local anesthetic drug bupivacaine (0.75% solution, 0.5 microl), or saline. Post-training intra-hippocampal infusions of bupivacaine attenuated acquisition of the place task and enhanced acquisition of the response task. Delayed (2-h) post-training infusions of bupivacaine did not affect retention in either task. The findings demonstrate (1) enhanced learning after reversible hippocampal lesions that is independent of treatment influences on non-mnemonic factors, and (2) inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus during the post-training memory consolidation period is sufficient to enhance response learning.