A dissociation between renewal and contextual fear conditioning in juvenile rats
journal contributionposted on 2017-05-01, 00:00 authored by C H J Park, D E Ganella, Jee Hyun KimJee Hyun Kim
We investigated whether juvenile rats do not express renewal following extinction of conditioned fear due to their inability to form a long-term contextual fear memory. In experiment 1, postnatal day (P) 18 and 25 rats received 3 white-noise and footshock pairings, followed by 60 white-noise alone presentations the next day. When tested in a different context to extinction, P25 rats displayed renewal whereas P18 rats did not. Experiments 2A and 2B surprisingly showed that P18 and P25 rats do not show differences in contextual and cued fear, regardless of the conditioning-test intervals and the number of white-noise-footshock pairings received. Finally, we observed age differences in contextual fear when P25 rats were weaned at P21 in experiment 3. These results indicate that the developmental dissociation observed in renewal of extinguished fear is not related to the widely believed late emergence of contextual fear learning.