Enhancing and impairing extinction of habit memory through modulation of NMDA receptors in the dorsolateral striatum. Academic Article uri icon


  • The present experiments investigated the involvement of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors of the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) in consolidation of extinction in a habit memory task. Adult male Long-Evans rats were initially trained in a food-reinforced response learning version of a plus-maze task and were subsequently given extinction training in which the food was removed from the maze. In experiment 1, immediately after the first day of extinction training, rats received bilateral intra-DLS injections of the NMDA receptor antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5; 2g/side) or physiological saline. In experiment 2, immediately following the first day of extinction training, animals were given intra-DLS injections of NMDA receptor partial agonist d-cycloserine (DCS; 10 or 20g/side) or saline. In both experiments, the number of perseverative trials (a trial in which a rat made the same previously reinforced body-turn response) and latency to reach the previously correct food well were used as measures of extinction behavior. Results indicated that post-training intra-DLS injections of AP5 impaired extinction. In contrast, post-training intra-DLS infusions of DCS (20g) enhanced extinction. Intra-DLS administration of AP5 or DCS given two hours after extinction training did not influence extinction of response learning, indicating that immediate post-training administration of AP5 and DCS specifically influenced consolidation of the extinction memory. The present results indicate a critical role for DLS NMDA receptors in modulating extinction of habit memory and may be relevant to developing therapeutic approaches to combat the maladaptive habits observed in human psychopathologies in which DLS-dependent memory has been implicated (e.g. drug addiction and relapse and obsessive compulsive disorder).

published proceedings

  • Neuroscience

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Goodman, J., Ressler, R. L., & Packard, M. G.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Goodman, Jarid||Ressler, Reed L||Packard, Mark G

publication date

  • January 2017