Facilitation of generalization performances in spatial learning problems by posttrial stimulation of the mesencephalic reticular formation

Martine Ammassari-Teule, Anne Marie Fombon, Vincent Bloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of low posttrial stimulation of the mesenphalic reticular formation (MRF) on spatial learning problems were studied in two consecutive stages. First, the performances of stimulated (S) and no-stimulated (NS) subjects were assessed in a reconvergent three-arm maze. Secondly, the same animals were tested in a generalization paradigm, since they had to solve a similar task in a radial four-arm maze, each group being divided into newly stimulated (S-S, NS-S) or no-stimulated (S-NS, NS-NS) subjects. In the first experiment, no differences were found between the acquisition processes of groups S and NS. Conversely, in the second experiment, previously stimulated animals (S-S and S-NS) showed better generalization of the experimental rule. The results are discussed in terms of perseveration of the neural activity after the early MRF stimulation. From a functional point of view, our data indicate that an enhancement of the neural activity during acquisition facilitates not only a high accessibility of memories concerning the experimental rule in a subsequent similar situation but also the capability to apply a previously elaborated response system in a more complex situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1031
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1984

Keywords

  • Generalization
  • Memory consolidation
  • Reticular stimulation
  • Spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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