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Susan Cushman, John H. Byrne
Published: 1 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24

, Rufus Brooks, Claudia Groh, ,
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 557-562; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045492.117

Abstract:
The honey bee mushroom bodies (MBs) are brain centers required for specific learning tasks. Here, we show that environmental conditions experienced as young adults affect the maturation of MB neuropil and performance in a MB-dependent learning task. Specifically, olfactory reversal learning was selectively impaired following early exposure to an impoverished environment lacking some of the sensory and social interactions present in the hive. In parallel, the overall number of synaptic boutons increased within the MB olfactory neuropil, whose volume remained unaffected. This suggests that experience of the rich in-hive environment promotes MB maturation and the development of MB-dependent learning capacities.
Catherine Conte, Samantha Herdegen, Saman Kamal, Jency Patel, Ushma Patel, Leticia Perez, Marissa Rivota, ,
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 502-515; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045450.117

Abstract:
We characterized the transcriptional response accompanying maintenance of long-term sensitization (LTS) memory in the pleural ganglia of Aplysia californica using microarray (N = 8) and qPCR (N = 11 additional samples). We found that 24 h after memory induction there is strong regulation of 1198 transcripts (748 up and 450 down) in a pattern that is almost completely distinct from what is observed during memory encoding (1 h after training). There is widespread up-regulation of transcripts related to all levels of protein production, from transcription (e.g., subunits of transcription initiation factors) to translation (e.g., subunits of eIF1, eIF2, eIF3, eIF4, eIF5, and eIF2B) to activation of components of the unfolded protein response (e.g., CREB3/Luman, BiP, AATF). In addition, there are widespread changes in transcripts related to cytoskeleton function, synaptic targeting, synaptic function, neurotransmitter regulation, and neuronal signaling. Many of the transcripts identified have previously been linked to memory and plasticity (e.g., Egr, menin, TOB1, IGF2 mRNA binding protein 1/ZBP-1), though the majority are novel and/or uncharacterized. Interestingly, there is regulation that could contribute to metaplasticity potentially opposing or even eroding LTS memory (down-regulation of adenylate cyclase and a putative serotonin receptor, up-regulation of FMRFa and a FMRFa receptor). This study reveals that maintenance of a “simple” nonassociative memory is accompanied by an astonishingly complex transcriptional response.
Sriya Bhattacharya, Bandhan Mukherjee, Jules J.E. Doré, Qi Yuan, ,
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 543-551; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045799.117

Abstract:
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) plays a role in synaptic plasticity and long-term memory formation. We hypothesized that trichostatin-A (TSA), an HDAC inhibitor, would promote long-term odor preference memory and maintain enhanced GluA1 receptor levels that have been hypothesized to support memory. We used an early odor preference learning model in neonate rat pups that normally produces only 24-h memory to test behavior and examine receptor protein expression. Our behavioral studies showed that intrabulbar infusion of TSA, prior to pairing of the conditioned stimulus (peppermint odor) with the unconditioned stimulus (tactile stimulation), prolonged 24-h odor preference memory for at least 9 d. The prolonged odor preference memory was selective for the paired odor and was also observed using a specific HDAC6 inhibitor, tubacin, supporting a role for histone acetylation in associative memory. Immunoblot analysis showed that GluA1 receptor membrane expression in the olfactory bulbs of the TSA-treated group was significantly increased at 48 h unlike control rats without TSA. Immunohistochemistry revealed significant increase of GluA1 expression in olfactory bulb glomeruli 5 d after training. These results extend previous evidence for a close relationship between enhanced GluA1 receptor membrane expression and memory expression. Together, these findings provide a new single-trial appetitive model for understanding the support and maintenance of memories of varying duration.
Don A. Davies, Quentin Greba, Jantz C. Selk, Jillian K. Catton, Landon D. Baillie, Sean J. Mulligan,
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 524-531; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045419.117

Abstract:
Working memory is involved in the maintenance and manipulation of information essential for complex cognition. While the neural substrates underlying working memory capacity have been studied in humans, considerably less is known about the circuitry mediating working memory capacity in rodents. Therefore, the present experiments tested the involvement of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and dorsal striatum (STR) in the odor span task (OST), a task proposed to assay working memory capacity in rodents. Initially, Long Evans rats were trained to dig in scented sand for food following a serial delayed nonmatching-to-sample rule. Temporary inactivation of dorsomedial (dm) STR significantly reduced span in well trained rats. Inactivation of mPFC or contralateral disconnection of the mPFC and dmSTR also reduced span. Infusing the GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor antagonist Ro 25-6981 into mPFC did not affect span; however, span was significantly reduced following bilateral Ro 25-6981 infusions into dmSTR or contralateral disconnection of mPFC (inactivation) and dmSTR (Ro 25-6981). These results suggest that span capacity in rats depends on GluN2B-containing NMDA receptor-dependent interactions between the mPFC and the dmSTR. Therefore, interventions targeting this circuit may improve the working memory capacity impairments in patients with schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.
, Scott D. Slotnick
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 552-556; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045765.117

Abstract:
Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence has shown that false memories arise from higher-level conscious processing regions rather than lower-level sensory processing regions. In the present study, we assessed whether the lateral occipital complex (LOC)—a lower-level conscious shape processing region—was associated with false memories for shape. During encoding, participants viewed intact or scrambled colored abstract shapes. During retrieval, colored disks were presented and participants indicated whether the corresponding item was previously “intact” or “scrambled.” False memories for shape (“intact”/scrambled > “scrambled”/scrambled) activated LOC, which indicates lower-level sensory processing regions can support false memory.
Published: 15 September 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 532-542; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045187.117

Abstract:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders, and daily transient feelings of anxiety (or “stress”) are ubiquitous. However, the precise impact of both transient and pathological anxiety on higher-order cognitive functions, including short- and long-term memory, is poorly understood. A clearer understanding of the anxiety–memory relationship is important as one of the core symptoms of anxiety, most prominently in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is intrusive reexperiencing of traumatic events in the form of vivid memories. This study therefore aimed to examine the impact of induced anxiety (threat of shock) on memory encoding and retrieval. Eighty-six healthy participants completed tasks assessing: visuospatial working memory, verbal recognition, face recognition, and associative memory. Critically, anxiety was manipulated within-subjects: information was both encoded and retrieved under threat of shock and safe (no shock) conditions. Results revealed that visuospatial working memory was enhanced when information was encoded and subsequently retrieved under threat, and that threat impaired the encoding of faces regardless of the condition in which it was retrieved. Episodic memory and verbal short-term recognition were, however, unimpaired. These findings indicate that transient anxiety in healthy individuals has domain-specific, rather than domain-general, impacts on memory. Future studies would benefit from expanding these findings into anxiety disorder patients to delineate the differences between adaptive and maladaptive responding.
Mouna Maroun, Irit Akirav
Learning & Memory, Volume 16, pp 243-247; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.1245009

Abstract:
We investigated MEK and D1 receptors in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in consolidation and reconsolidation of recognition memory in rats nonhabituated to the experimental context (NH) or with reduced arousal due to extensive prior habituation (H). The D1 receptor antagonist enhanced consolidation and impaired reconsolidation in NH but impaired consolidation with no effect on reconsolidation in H. The D1 receptor agonist had no effect on consolidation in either H or NH but impaired reconsolidation in both groups. The MEK inhibitor impaired consolidation and reconsolidation, regardless of arousal. Thus, vmPFC D1 receptors and MEK show differential involvement in memory and arousal.
Jing-Tao Dou, Min Chen, Franck Dufour, Daniel L. Alkon,
Published: 14 November 2005
Learning & Memory, Volume 12, pp 646-655; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.88005

Abstract:
Evidence has shown that the insulin and insulin receptor (IR) play a role in cognitive function. However, the detailed mechanisms underlying insulin's action on learning and memory are not yet understood. Here we investigated changes in long-term memory-associated expression of the IR and downstream molecules in the rat hippocampus. After long-term memory consolidation following a water maze learning experience, gene expression of IR showed an up-regulation in the CA1, but a down-regulation in the CA3 region. These were correlated with a significant reduction in hippocampal IR protein levels. Learning-specific increases in levels of downstream molecules such as IRS-1 and Akt were detected in the synaptic membrane accompanied by decreases in Akt phosphorylation. Translocation of Shc protein to the synaptic membrane and activation of Erk1/2 were also observed after long-term memory formation. Despite the clear memory-correlated alterations in IR signaling pathways, insulin deficits in experimental diabetes mellitus (DM) rats induced by intraperitoneal injections of streptozotocin resulted in only minor memory impairments. This may be due to higher glucose levels in the DM brain, and to compensatory mechanisms from other signaling pathways such as the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) system. Our results suggest that insulin/IR signaling plays a modulatory role in learning and memory processing, which may be compensated for by alternative pathways in the brain when an insulin deficit occurs.
Published: 25 September 2007
Learning & Memory, Volume 14, pp 665-668; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.692407

Abstract:
Recent findings reveal qualitative developmental differences in extinction of learned fear. The present study explored potential developmental differences in the role of NMDA in acquisition and extinction. Rats were injected with MK-801 prior to fear conditioning or extinction training. Acquisition was found to be NMDA dependent in both age groups, whereas extinction was found to be NMDA dependent in 23-day-old rats, but NMDA independent in 16-day-old rats. These results illustrate another fundamental developmental difference in extinction as well as a dissociation in the role of NMDA in the acquisition and extinction of fear early in development.
Sindy Cole,
Published: 30 December 2008
Learning & Memory, Volume 16, pp 1-7; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.1120509

Abstract:
Pavlovian fear conditioning is not a unitary process. At the neurobiological level multiple brain regions and neurotransmitters contribute to fear learning. At the behavioral level many variables contribute to fear learning including the physical salience of the events being learned about, the direction and magnitude of predictive error, and the rate at which these are learned about. These experiments used a serial compound conditioning design to determine the roles of basolateral amygdala (BLA) NMDA receptors and ventrolateral midbrain periaqueductal gray (vlPAG) μ-opioid receptors (MOR) in predictive fear learning. Rats received a three-stage design, which arranged for both positive and negative prediction errors producing bidirectional changes in fear learning within the same subjects during the test stage. Intra-BLA infusion of the NR2B receptor antagonist Ifenprodil prevented all learning. In contrast, intra-vlPAG infusion of the MOR antagonist CTAP enhanced learning in response to positive predictive error but impaired learning in response to negative predictive error—a pattern similar to Hebbian learning and an indication that fear learning had been divorced from predictive error. These findings identify complementary but dissociable roles for amygdala NMDA receptors and vlPAG MOR in temporal-difference predictive fear learning.
, Johnatan Ceccom, Hélène Halley, Bernard Francés,
Learning & Memory, Volume 16, pp 504-507; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.1418309

Abstract:
Elucidating the functional properties of the dentate gyrus (DG), CA3, and CA1 areas is critical for understanding the role of the dorsal hippocampus in contextual fear memory processing. In order to specifically disrupt various hippocampal inputs, we used region-specific infusions of DCG-IV, the metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist, which selectively disrupts entorhinal outputs as well as mossy fiber transmission in the hippocampus. The consequences of these injections were studied using a contextual fear conditioning (CFC) paradigm. Selective contextual memory impairment was observed in DG- and CA3-, but not in CA1-treated mice. Our results emphasize the major role played by the DG and CA3 areas in the early phases of contextual memory processing, particularly during the acquisition and early consolidation phases of CFC.
Mariah A.A. Meyer, Kevin A. Corcoran, Helen J. Chen, Sonia Gallego, Guanguan Li, Veda V. Tiruveedhula, James M. Cook,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 385-391; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045542.117

Abstract:
Retrieval of fear memories can be state-dependent, meaning that they are best retrieved if the brain states at encoding and retrieval are similar. Such states can be induced by activating extrasynaptic γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAAR) with the broad α-subunit activator gaboxadol. However, the circuit mechanisms and specific subunits underlying gaboxadol's effects are not well understood. Here we show that gaboxadol induces profound changes of local and network oscillatory activity, indicative of discoordinated hippocampal–cortical activity, that were accompanied by robust and long-lasting state-dependent conditioned fear. Episodic memories typically are hippocampus-dependent for a limited period after learning, but become cortex-dependent with the passage of time. In contrast, state-dependent memories continued to rely on hippocampal GABAergic mechanisms for memory retrieval. Pharmacological approaches with α-subunit-specific agonists targeting the hippocampus implicated the prototypic extrasynaptic subunits (α4) as the mediator of state-dependent conditioned fear. Together, our findings suggest that continued dependence on hippocampal rather than cortical mechanisms could be an important feature of state-dependent memories that contributes to their conditional retrieval.
Lindsey F. Cassini, Charlotte R. Flavell, ,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 392-399; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045724.117

Abstract:
Retrieval of an associative memory can lead to different phenomena. Brief reexposure sessions tend to trigger reconsolidation, whereas more extended ones trigger extinction. In appetitive and fear cued Pavlovian memories, an intermediate “null point” period has been observed where neither process seems to be engaged. Here we investigated whether this phenomenon extends to contextual fear memory. Adult rats were subjected to a contextual fear conditioning paradigm, reexposed to the context 2 d later for 3, 5, 10, 20, or 30 min, with immediate injections of MK-801 or saline following reexposure, and tested on the following day. We observed a significant effect of MK-801 with the 3- and 30-min sessions, impairing reconsolidation and extinction, respectively. However, it did not have significant effects with 5-, 10-, or 20-min sessions, even though freezing decreased from reexposure to test. Further analyses indicated that this is not likely to be due to a variable transition point at the population level. In conclusion, the results show that in contextual fear memories there is a genuine “null point” between the parameters that induce reconsolidation and extinction, as defined by the effects of MK-801, although NMDA receptor-independent decreases in freezing can still occur in these conditions.
Zachary T. Pennington, Austin S. Anderson,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 400-406; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.046110.117

Abstract:
The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has consistently appeared altered in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although the vmPFC is thought to support the extinction of learned fear responses, several findings support a broader role for this structure in the regulation of fear. To further characterize the relationship between vmPFC dysfunction and responses to traumatic stress, we examined the effects of pretraining vmPFC lesions on trauma reactivity and enhanced fear learning in a rodent model of PTSD. In Experiment 1, lesions did not produce differences in shock reactivity during an acute traumatic episode, nor did they alter the strength of the traumatic memory. However, when lesioned animals were subsequently given a single mild aversive stimulus in a novel context, they showed a blunting of the enhanced fear response to this context seen in traumatized animals. In order to address this counterintuitive finding, Experiment 2 assessed whether lesions also attenuated fear responses to discrete tone cues. Enhanced fear for discrete cues following trauma was preserved in lesioned animals, indicating that the deficit observed in Experiment 1 is limited to contextual stimuli. These findings further support the notion that the vmPFC contributes to the regulation of fear through its influence on context learning and contrasts the prevailing view that the vmPFC directly inhibits fear.
Nilam Patel, Catherine Stoodley, Daniel S. Pine, Christian Grillon,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 407-413; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044123.116

Abstract:
This study examines the influence of trait anxiety on working memory (WM) in safety and threat. Interactions between experimentally induced anxiety and WM performance (on different cognitive loads) have been reported in healthy, nonanxious subjects. Differences in trait anxiety may moderate these interactions. Accordingly, these interactions may be potentiated by high trait anxiety (HTA), or show a resilient pattern that protects cognitive performance. HTA and low trait anxiety (LTA) were defined by a median split of scores on the trait component of the state-trait anxiety inventory. Sustained anxiety was evoked by a probabilistic exposure to an aversive scream, and was measured by eyeblink startle and self-report. WM was tested using an n-back task (1-, 2-, and 3-back). Results revealed that, as expected, the HTA group reported greater anxiety during the task. However, trait anxiety did not impact the modulation of WM performance by induced anxiety. Notably, HTA influenced anxiety-potentiated startle (startle during threat minus startle during safe; APS) differently as a function of memory load. Accordingly, APS decreased with increasing WM load, but HTA antagonized this reduction. The HTA group showed no impairment on the 3-back WM task despite a higher APS. The amplified APS could be associated with the increase in effort-related cognitive arousal. Furthermore, this third replication of the interaction of induced anxiety by load on WM performance testifies to the robustness of the unique interplay between anxiety and WM.
Nicole C. Ferrara, Patrick K. Cullen, Shane P. Pullins, Elena K. Rotondo, Fred J. Helmstetter
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 414-421; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044131.116

Abstract:
Generalization of fear can involve abnormal responding to cues that signal safety and is common in people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Differential auditory fear conditioning can be used as a tool to measure changes in fear discrimination and generalization. Most prior work in this area has focused on elevated amygdala activity as a critical component underlying generalization. The amygdala receives input from auditory cortex as well as the medial geniculate nucleus (MgN) of the thalamus, and these synapses undergo plastic changes in response to fear conditioning and are major contributors to the formation of memory related to both safe and threatening cues. The requirement for MgN protein synthesis during auditory discrimination and generalization, as well as the role of MgN plasticity in amygdala encoding of discrimination or generalization, have not been directly tested. GluR1 and GluR2 containing AMPA receptors are found at synapses throughout the amygdala and their expression is persistently up-regulated after learning. Some of these receptors are postsynaptic to terminals from MgN neurons. We found that protein synthesis-dependent plasticity in MgN is necessary for elevated freezing to both aversive and safe auditory cues, and that this is accompanied by changes in the expressions of AMPA receptor and synaptic scaffolding proteins (e.g., SHANK) at amygdala synapses. This work contributes to understanding the neural mechanisms underlying increased fear to safety signals after stress.
Christie L. Pizzimenti, Tom M. Navis,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 422-431; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044164.116

Abstract:
Even following long periods of abstinence, individuals with anxiety disorders have high rates of relapse to drugs of abuse. Although many current models of relapse demonstrate effects of acute stress on drug-seeking, most of these studies examine stressful experiences that occur in close temporal and physical proximity to the reinstatement test. Here, we assess the effects of a stressful experience in one context on fear and drug-seeking in a different context. We adapt the stress-enhanced fear learning procedure to examine impacts on drug-seeking long after the stressful experience occurred. We find massive footshock in a distinct environment produced an acute increase in corticosterone, long-term hyper-responsivity to a single shock in different contexts with extensive histories of drug-seeking behaviors, enhancements in cocaine-induced conditioned place preference in mice, and persistent enhancements in cue-induced reinstatement of methamphetamine-seeking behavior in rats. Together, these experiments demonstrate that an acute trauma causes persistent changes in responsivity to mild stressors and drug-seeking behavior in other contexts, which mirrors aspects of the comorbidity between post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders. These behavioral approaches provide novel procedures for investigating basic mechanisms underlying this comorbidity and they provide powerful tools for testing preclinical pharmacological and behavioral interventions.
, , , Clark H. Roberts, Vincent D. Campese, Robert M. Sears, Joseph E. LeDoux
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 432-439; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044412.116

Abstract:
The creation of auditory threat Pavlovian memory requires an initial learning stage in which a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS), such as a tone, is paired with an aversive one (US), such as a shock. In this phase, the CS acquires the capacity of predicting the occurrence of the US and therefore elicits conditioned defense responses. Norepinephrine (NE), through β-adrenergic receptors in the amygdala, enhances threat memory by facilitating the acquisition of the CS–US association, but the nature of this effect has not been described. Here we show that NE release, induced by the footshock of the first conditioning trial, promotes the subsequent enhancement of learning. Consequently, blocking NE transmission disrupts multitrial but not one-trial conditioning. We further found that increasing the time between the conditioning trials eliminates the amplificatory effect of NE. Similarly, an unsignaled footshock delivered in a separate context immediately before conditioning can enhance learning. These results help define the conditions under which NE should and should not be expected to alter threat processing and fill an important gap in the understanding of the neural processes relevant to the pathophysiology of stress and anxiety disorders.
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 440-448; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044297.116

Abstract:
Four experiments used a sensory preconditioning protocol to examine how a dangerous context influences learning about innocuous events. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, rats were exposed to presentations of a tone followed immediately or 20-sec later by presentations of a light. These tone–light pairings occurred in a context that was either familiar and safe, or equally familiar but dangerous, that is, it was a context in which rats had been exposed to footshock. Rats were next exposed to parings of the light and shock and then tested with the tone (and light). The experiments showed that a dangerous context permits formation of a tone–light association under circumstances that preclude formation of that same association in a safe context (Experiments 1 and 2), and that this facilitative effect on associative formation depends on the content being currently dangerous rather than having been dangerous in the past (Experiment 3). Experiment 4 examined whether a dangerous context facilitates discrimination between two innocuous events. In a safe or dangerous context, rats were exposed to a tone that signaled the light and then to a white noise presented alone. Subsequent to conditioning of the light, the tests revealed that rats that had been exposed to these tone–light and white noise alone presentations in a dangerous context froze to the tone but not to the noise, whereas those exposed in a safe context froze to both the tone and the white noise. The results were related to previous evidence that the amygdala is critical for processing information about innocuous stimuli in a dangerous but not a safe context. They were attributed to an amygdala-based enhancement of arousal and/or attention in a dangerous context, hence the facilitation of associative formation and enhanced discriminability in this context.
Melanie P. Donley,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 449-461; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044289.116

Abstract:
Emotional states influence how stimuli are interpreted. High anxiety states in humans lead to more negative, threatening interpretations of novel information, typically accompanied by activation of the amygdala. We developed a handling protocol that induces long-lasting high and low anxiety-like states in rats to explore the role of state anxiety on brain activation during exposure to a novel environment and fear conditioning. In situ hybridization of the inducible transcription factor Egr-1 found increased gene expression in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) following exposure to a novel environment and contextual fear conditioning in high anxiety-like rats. In contrast, low state anxiety-like rats did not generate Egr-1 increases in LA when placed in a novel chamber. Egr-1 expression was also examined in the dorsal hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. In CA1 of the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), Egr-1 expression increased in response to novel context exposure and fear conditioning, independent of state anxiety level. Furthermore, in mPFC, Egr-1 in low anxiety-like rats was increased more with fear conditioning than novel exposure. The current series of experiments show that brain areas involved in fear and anxiety-like states do not respond uniformly to novelty during high and low states of anxiety.
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 462-471; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044115.116

Abstract:
Fear, which can be expressed innately or after conditioning, is triggered when a danger or a stimulus predicting immediate danger is perceived. Its role is to prepare the body to face this danger. However, dysfunction in fear processing can lead to psychiatric disorders in which fear outweighs the danger or possibility of harm. Although recognized as highly debilitating, pathological fear remains insufficiently treated, indicating the importance of research on fear processing. The neurobiological basis of normal and pathological fear reactions is reviewed in this article. Innate and learned fear mechanisms, particularly those involving the amygdala, are considered. These fear mechanisms are also distinguished in specific phobias, which can indeed be nonexperiential (implicating innate, learning-independent mechanisms) or experiential (implicating learning-dependent mechanisms). Poor habituation and poor extinction are presented as dysfunctional mechanisms contributing to persistence of nonexperiential and experiential phobias, respectively.
James W.B. Elsey,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 472-479; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044156.116

Abstract:
Recent research has demonstrated that consolidated memories can enter a temporary labile state after reactivation, requiring restabilization in order to persist. This process, known as reconsolidation, potentially allows for the modification and disruption of memory. Much interest in reconsolidation stems from the possibility that maladaptive memory traces—a core feature of several psychiatric conditions—could be tackled by disrupting their reconsolidation. However, research has indicated a range of supposed boundary conditions on the induction of reconsolidation. Stronger memories, often resulting from exposure to stressful conditions, or older memories, appear to be relatively resistant to undergoing reconsolidation. This may be taken as a potential stumbling block for reconsolidation-based interventions: in clinical practice, old and strong maladaptive memories are the norm rather than the exception. Yet, boundary conditions have been derived from limited experimental evidence, are not unique to reconsolidation-based interventions, and do not seem to be absolute. In this paper, we review a range of experimental studies that have aimed to disrupt old memories, or memories that were strengthened by stress manipulations, through reconsolidation. Such research highlights several techniques that could be used to optimize reconsolidation-based approaches and overcome putative boundary conditions. We supplement this review of experimental literature with a case study of a reconsolidation-based treatment of a strong and decades-old phobia for mice, further suggesting that age and strength of memory may not be insurmountable barriers. Translating findings from basic science, to human experiments, to clinical applications and back again, can potentially unlock powerful new treatments for the many people who suffer daily from anxiety disorders.
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 480-491; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044206.116

Abstract:
Surviving threats in the environment requires brain circuits for detecting (or anticipating) danger and for coordinating appropriate defensive responses (e.g., increased cardiac output, stress hormone release, and freezing behavior). The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a critical interface between the “affective forebrain”—including the amygdala, ventral hippocampus, and medial prefrontal cortex—and the hypothalamic and brainstem areas that have been implicated in neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses to actual or anticipated threats. However, the precise contribution of the BNST to defensive behavior is unclear, both in terms of the antecedent stimuli that mobilize BNST activity and the consequent defensive reactions. For example, it is well known that the BNST is essential for contextual fear conditioning, but dispensable for fear conditioning to discrete conditioned stimuli (CSs), at least as indexed by freezing behavior. However, recent evidence suggests that there are circumstances in which contextual freezing may persist independent of the BNST. Furthermore, the BNST is involved in the reinstatement (or relapse) of conditioned freezing to extinguished discrete CSs. As such, there are critical gaps in understanding how the BNST contributes to fundamental processes involved in Pavlovian fear conditioning. Here, we attempt to provide an integrative account of BNST function in fear conditioning. We discuss distinctions between unconditioned stress and conditioned fear and the role of BNST circuits in organizing behaviors associated with these states. We propose that the BNST mediates conditioned defensive responses—not based on the modality or duration of the antecedent threat or the duration of the behavioral response to the threat—but rather as consequence the ability of an antecedent stimulus to predict when an aversive outcome will occur (i.e., its temporal predictability). We argue that the BNST is not uniquely mobilized by sustained threats or uniquely involved in organizing sustained fear responses. In contrast, we argue that the BNST is involved in organizing fear responses to stimuli that poorly predict when danger will occur, no matter the duration, modality, or complexity of those stimuli. The concepts discussed in this review are critical to understanding the contribution of the human BNST to fear and anxiety disorders.
Marissa E. Maheu,
Published: 16 August 2017
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 492-501; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044271.116

Abstract:
The manipulation of neural plasticity as a means of intervening in the onset and progression of stress-related disorders retains its appeal for many researchers, despite our limited success in translating such interventions from the laboratory to the clinic. Given the challenges of identifying individual genetic variants that confer increased risk for illnesses like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, some have turned their attention instead to focusing on so-called “master regulators” of plasticity that may provide a means of controlling these potentially impaired processes in psychiatric illnesses. The mammalian homolog ofTailless(TLX), Wnt, and the homeoprotein Otx2 have all been proposed to constitute master regulators of different forms of plasticity which have, in turn, each been implicated in learning and stress-related disorders. In the present review, we provide an overview of the changing distribution of these genes and their roles both during development and in the adult brain. We further discuss how their distinct expression profiles provide clues as to their function, and may inform their suitability as candidate drug targets in the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
P J Reber, P Alvarez, L R Squire
Published: 1 September 1997
Learning & Memory, Volume 4, pp 284-290; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.4.3.284

Abstract:
Volunteers studied pictures of objects and were then tested for yes/no recognition at 10 min and 1 week after learning (experiment 1), or at 10 min and 4 months after learning (experiment 2). Because the gradual consolidation of long-term memory is thought to occur across this time scale (weeks and months), the reaction time distributions of successfully retrieved items were analyzed in an attempt to detect markers of consolidation. At each retention interval, reaction times for items retrieved successfully were well fit by a model that assumed a single underlying distribution. No evidence for a bimodal distribution of reaction times was observed. Furthermore, there was no evidence that some small subset of items was actually retrieved faster after a long retention interval than after a short interval. The results are consistent with the idea that consolidation works not to increase memory trace strength but to change the nature of memory storage. This process occurs during the course of normal forgetting and may not be observable in the behavior of normal memory.
, Sean B. Ostlund, , Nigel T. Maidment
Learning & Memory, Volume 18, pp 475-483; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.2229311

Abstract:
Here we attempted to clarify the role of dopamine signaling in reward seeking. In Experiment 1, we assessed the effects of the dopamine D1/D2 receptor antagonist flupenthixol (0.5 mg/kg i.p.) on Pavlovian incentive motivation and found that flupenthixol blocked the ability of a conditioned stimulus to enhance both goal approach and instrumental performance (Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer). In Experiment 2 we assessed the effects of flupenthixol on reward palatability during post-training noncontingent re-exposure to the sucrose reward in either a control 3-h or novel 23-h food-deprived state. Flupenthixol, although effective in blocking the Pavlovian goal approach, was without effect on palatability or the increase in reward palatability induced by the upshift in motivational state. This noncontingent re-exposure provided an opportunity for instrumental incentive learning, the process by which rats encode the value of a reward for use in updating reward-seeking actions. Flupenthixol administered prior to the instrumental incentive learning opportunity did not affect the increase in subsequent off-drug reward-seeking actions induced by that experience. These data suggest that although dopamine signaling is necessary for Pavlovian incentive motivation, it is not necessary for changes in reward experience, or for the instrumental incentive learning process that translates this experience into the incentive value used to drive reward-seeking actions, and provide further evidence that Pavlovian and instrumental incentive learning processes are dissociable.
Lauren J. Gottlieb,
Published: 15 August 2011
Learning & Memory, Volume 18, pp 565-573; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.2197211

Abstract:
Prior research has demonstrated that the neural correlates of successful encoding (“subsequent memory effects”) partially overlap with neural regions selectively engaged by the on-line demands of the study task. The primary goal of the present experiment was to determine whether this overlap is associated solely with encoding processes supporting later recollection, or whether overlapping subsequent memory and study condition effects are also evident when later memory is familiarity-based. Subjects (N = 17) underwent fMRI scanning while studying a series of visually and auditorily presented words. Memory for the words was subsequently tested with a modified Remember/Know procedure. Auditorily selective subsequent familiarity effects were evident in bilateral temporal regions that also responded preferentially to auditory items. Although other interpretations are possible, these findings suggest that overlap between study condition-selective subsequent memory effects and regions selectively sensitive to study demands is not uniquely associated with later recollection. In addition, modality-independent subsequent memory effects were identified in several cortical regions. In every case, the effects were greatest for later recollected items, and smaller for items later recognized on the basis of familiarity. The implications of this quantitative dissociation for dual-process models of recognition memory are discussed.
, Kenneth R. Light, Christopher Wass, Danielle Colas-Zelin, Alexander Denman-Brice, Adam C. Waddel, Stefan Kolata
Learning & Memory, Volume 18, pp 345-356; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.2034711

Abstract:
Learning, attentional, and perseverative deficits are characteristic of cognitive aging. In this study, genetically diverse CD-1 mice underwent longitudinal training in a task asserted to tax working memory capacity and its dependence on selective attention. Beginning at 3 mo of age, animals were trained for 12 d to perform in a dual radial-arm maze task that required the mice to remember and operate on two sets of overlapping guidance (spatial) cues. As previously reported, this training resulted in an immediate (at 4 mo of age) improvement in the animals' aggregate performance across a battery of five learning tasks. Subsequently, these animals received an additional 3 d of working memory training at 3-wk intervals for 15 mo (totaling 66 training sessions), and at 18 mo of age were assessed on a selective attention task, a second set of learning tasks, and variations of those tasks that required the animals to modify the previously learned response. Both attentional and learning abilities (on passive avoidance, active avoidance, and reinforced alternation tasks) were impaired in aged animals that had not received working memory training. Likewise, these aged animals exhibited consistent deficits when required to modify a previously instantiated learned response (in reinforced alternation, active avoidance, and spatial water maze). In contrast, these attentional, learning, and perseverative deficits were attenuated in aged animals that had undergone lifelong working memory exercise. These results suggest that general impairments of learning, attention, and cognitive flexibility may be mitigated by a cognitive exercise regimen that requires chronic attentional engagement.
, Matthew A. Tucker, Jessica D. Payne, Robert Stickgold
Learning & Memory, Volume 17, pp 332-336; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.1828310

Abstract:
Here, we examined the effect of a daytime nap on changes in virtual maze performance across a single day. Participants either took a short nap or remained awake following training on a virtual maze task. Post-training sleep provided a clear performance benefit at later retest, but only for those participants with prior experience navigating in a three-dimensional (3D) environment. Performance improvements in experienced players were correlated with delta-rich stage 2 sleep. Complementing observations that learning-related brain activity is reiterated during post-navigation NREM sleep in rodents, the present data demonstrate that NREM sleep confers a performance advantage for spatial memory in humans.
, , Matías Mugnaini, Adrián M. Bueno, , , Victor A. Molina
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 369-374; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045385.117

Abstract:
Two experiments using rats in a contextual fear memory preparation compared two approaches to reduce conditioned fear: (1) pharmacological reconsolidation blockade and (2) reactivation-plus-extinction training. In Experiment 1, we explored different combinations of reactivation-plus-extinction parameters to reduce conditioned fear and attenuate reacquisition. In Experiment 2, memory reactivation was followed by extinction training or administration of midazolam (MDZ) (vs. vehicle) to reduce conditioned fear and attenuate spontaneous recovery. We found both treatments to be equally effective in both experiments. This study suggests that parameters leading to memory destabilization during reactivation are critical to observe long-lasting effects of MDZ or reactivation plus extinction.
Wen-Hua Zhang, Jin Zhou, Han-Qing Pan, Xiao-Yang Wang, Wei-Zhu Liu, Jun-Yu Zhang, Xiao-Ping Yin, Bing-Xing Pan
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 381-384; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045856.117

Abstract:
The role of δ subunit-containing GABAA receptor (GABAA(δ)R) in fear generalization is uncertain. Here, by using mice with or without genetic deletion of GABAA(δ)R and using protocols in which the conditioned tone stimuli were cross presented with different nonconditioned stimuli, we observed that when the two tone stimuli were largely similar, both genotypes froze similarly to either of them. However, when they differed markedly, the knockout mice froze much more than their wild-type littermates to the nonconditioned but not conditioned stimuli. Thus, GABAA(δ)R may prevent inappropriate fear generalization when the incoming stimuli differ clearly from the learned threat.
, Patrese A. Robinson-Drummer, Hollie R. Sanders, Jeffrey B. Rosen,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 322-330; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045286.117

Abstract:
The context preexposure facilitation effect (CPFE) is a contextual fear conditioning paradigm in which learning about the context, acquiring the context-shock association, and retrieving/expressing contextual fear are temporally dissociated into three distinct phases. In contrast, learning about the context and the context-shock association happens concurrently in standard contextual fear conditioning (sCFC). By infusing the GABAAreceptor agonist muscimol into medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in adolescent Long-Evans rats, the current set of experiments examined the functional role of the mPFC in each phase of the CPFE and sCFC. In the CPFE, the mPFC is necessary for the following: acquisition and/or consolidation of context memory (Experiment 1), reconsolidation of a context memory to include shock (Experiment 2), and expression of contextual fear memory during a retention test (Experiment 3). In contrast to the CPFE, inactivation of the mPFC prior to conditioning in sCFC has no effect on acquisition, consolidation, or retention of a contextual fear memory (Experiment 4). Interestingly, the mPFC is not required for acquiring a context-shock association (measured by post-shock freezing) in the CPFE or sCFC (Experiment 2b and 4). Taken together, these results indicate that the mPFC is differentially recruited across stages of learning and variants of contextual fear conditioning (CPFE versus sCFC). More specifically, separating out learning about the context and the context-shock association necessitates activation of the medial prefrontal cortex during early learning and/or consolidation.
Harris A. Weisz, Marcy L. Wainwright,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 331-340; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045229.117

Abstract:
When presented with noxious stimuli, Aplysia exhibits concurrent sensitization of defensive responses, such as the tail-induced siphon withdrawal reflex (TSWR) and suppression of feeding. At the cellular level, sensitization of the TSWR is accompanied by an increase in the excitability of the tail sensory neurons (TSNs) that elicit the reflex, whereas feeding suppression is accompanied by decreased excitability of B51, a decision-making neuron in the feeding neural circuit. The goal of this study was to develop an in vitro analog coexpressing the above cellular correlates. We used a reduced preparation consisting of buccal, cerebral, and pleural-pedal ganglia, which contain the neural circuits controlling feeding and the TSWR, respectively. Sensitizing stimuli were delivered in vitro by electrical stimulation of afferent nerves. When trained with sensitizing stimuli, the in vitro analog expressed concomitant increased excitability in TSNs and decreased excitability in B51, which are consistent with the occurrence of sensitization and feeding suppression induced by in vivo training. This in vitro analog expressed both short-term (15 min) and long-term (24 h) excitability changes in TSNs and B51, depending on the amount of training administered. Finally, in vitro application of serotonin increased TSN excitability without altering B51 excitability, mirroring the in vivo application of the monoamine that induces sensitization, but not feeding suppression.
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 375-380; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045013.117

Abstract:
Activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) supports fear memory through synaptic plasticity events requiring actin cytoskeleton rearrangements. We have previously shown that reducing hippocampal Arc levels through antisense knockdown leads to the premature extinction of contextual fear. Here we show that the AMPA receptor antagonist CNQX elevates hippocampal Arc levels during extinction and blocks extinction that can be rescued by reducing Arc. Increasing Arc levels with CNQX also overcomes the actin-destabilizing properties of cytochalasin D and promotes extinction. Therefore, extinction is dependent on AMPA-mediated reductions of Arc via a mechanism consistent with a role for Arc in stabilizing the actin cytoskeleton to constrain extinction.
Courtney A. Bouchet, Brian A. Lloyd, Esteban C. Loetz, Caroline E. Farmer, Mykola Ostrovskyy, Natalie Haddad, ,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 358-368; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045195.117

Abstract:
Fear extinction-based exposure therapy is the most common behavioral therapy for anxiety and trauma-related disorders, but fear extinction memories are labile and fear tends to return even after successful extinction. The relapse of fear contributes to the poor long-term efficacy of exposure therapy. A single session of voluntary exercise can enhance the acquisition and consolidation of fear extinction in male rats, but the effects of exercise on relapse of fear after extinction are not well understood. Here, we characterized the effects of 2 h of voluntary exercise during the consolidation phase of contextual or auditory fear extinction learning on long-term fear extinction memory and renewal in adult, male and female, Long-Evans rats. Results indicate that exercise enhances consolidation of fear extinction memory and reduces fear relapse after extinction in a sex-dependent manner. These data suggest that brief bouts of exercise could be used as an augmentation strategy for exposure therapy, even in previously sedentary subjects. Fear memories of discrete cues, rather than of contextual ones, may be most susceptible to exercise-augmented extinction, especially in males. Additionally, exercise seems to have the biggest impact on fear relapse phenomena, even if fear extinction memories themselves are only minimally enhanced.
Patricia Salgado Pirbhoy, ,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 341-357; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044974.117

Abstract:
High-frequency stimulation of the medial perforant path triggers robust phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) in activated dendritic domains and granule cell bodies. Here we dissect the signaling pathways responsible for synaptically driven rpS6 phosphorylation in the dentate gyrus using pharmacological agents to inhibit PI3-kinase/mTOR and MAPK/ERK-dependent kinases. Using phospho-specific antibodies for rpS6 at different sites (ser235/236 versus ser240/244), we show that delivery of the PI3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, decreased rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the somatodendritic compartment (granule cell layer, inner molecular layer, outer molecular layer), especially in granule cell bodies while sparing phosphorylation at activated synapses (middle molecular layer). In contrast, delivery of U0126, an MEK inhibitor, attenuated rpS6 phosphorylation specifically in the dendritic laminae leaving phosphorylation in the granule cell bodies intact. Delivery of the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, abolished activation of rpS6 phosphorylation in granule cell bodies and dendrites, whereas delivery of a selective S6K1 inhibitor, PF4708671, or RSK inhibitor, SL0101-1, attenuated rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the postsynaptic cell. These results reveal that MAPK/ERK-dependent signaling is predominately responsible for the selective induction of rpS6 phosphorylation at active synapses. In contrast, PI3-kinase/mTOR-dependent signaling induces rpS6 phosphorylation throughout the somatodendritic compartment but plays a minimal role at active synapses. Collectively, these results suggest a potential mechanism by which PI3-kinase/mTOR and MAPK/ERK pathways regulate translation at specific subcellular compartments in response to synaptic activity.
Published: 15 January 2013
Learning & Memory, Volume 20, pp 80-84; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.028894.112

Abstract:
The acquisition of temporal associative tasks such as trace eyeblink conditioning is hippocampus-dependent, while consolidated performance is not. The parahippocampal region mediates much of the input and output of the hippocampus, and perirhinal (PER) and entorhinal (EC) cortices support persistent spiking, a possible mediator of temporal bridging between stimuli. Here we show that lesions of the perirhinal or postrhinal cortex severely impair the acquisition of trace eyeblink conditioning, while lateral EC lesions do not. Our findings suggest that direct projections from the PER to the hippocampus are functionally important in trace acquisition, and support a role for PER persistent spiking in time-bridging associations.
, Sungho Han, Anne M. Pearce, Kailun Cheng, JongAh J. Lee, Alexander W. Johnson, Chuansong Wang, Matthew J. During, Peter C. Holland, Yavin Shaham, et al.
Published: 15 January 2013
Learning & Memory, Volume 20, pp 75-79; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.028621.112

Abstract:
Narp knockout (KO) mice demonstrate an impaired extinction of morphine conditioned place preference (CPP). Because the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been implicated in extinction learning, we tested whether Narp cells in this region play a role in the extinction of morphine CPP. We found that intracranial injections of adenoassociated virus (AAV) expressing wild-type (WT) Narp into the mPFC of Narp KO mice rescued the extinction and the injection of AAV expressing a dominant negative form of Narp (NarpN) into the mPFC of WT mice impaired the extinction of morphine CPP. These findings suggest that Narp in the mPFC mediates the extinction of morphine CPP.
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 318-321; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045039.117

Abstract:
Starvation causes a motivational state that facilitates diverse behaviors such as feeding, walking, and search. Starved Drosophila can form odor/feeding-time associations but the role of starvation in encoding of “time” is poorly understood. Here we show that the extent of starvation is correlated with the fly's ability to establish odor/feeding-time memories. Prolonged starvation promotes odor/feeding-time associations after just a single cycle of reciprocal training. We also show that starvation is required for acquisition but is dispensable for retrieval of odor/feeding-time memory. Finally, even with extended starvation, a functional circadian oscillator is indispensable for establishing odor/feeding-time memories.
, , Gordon Winocur
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 298-309; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045005.117

Abstract:
Prior representations affect future learning. Little is known, however, about the effects of recollective or familiarity-based representations on such learning. We investigate the ability to reuse or reassociate elements from recollection- and familiarity-based associations to form new associations. Past neuropsychological research suggests that hippocampal, and presumably recollective, representations are more flexible than extra-hippocampal, presumably familiarity-based, representations. We therefore hypothesize that the elements of recollective associations, as opposed to familiarity-based representations, may be more easily manipulated and decoupled from each other, and facilitate the formation of new associations. To investigate this hypothesis we used the AB/AC learning paradigm. Across two recall studies we observed an advantage in learning AC word pairs if AB word pairs were initially recollected. Furthermore, AB word pairs were more likely to intrude during a final AC test if those AB word pairs were initially familiarity-based. A third experiment using a recognition version of the AB/AC paradigm ruled out the possibility that our findings were due to memory strength. Our results support the idea that elements in recollective associative traces may be more discretely coded, leading to their flexible use, whereas elements in familiarity-based associative traces are less flexible.
Anna Iacoangeli, Aderemi Dosunmu, Taesun Eom, Dimitre G. Stefanov,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 267-277; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045427.117

Abstract:
Dendritic regulatory BC1 RNA is a non-protein-coding (npc) RNA that operates in the translational control of gene expression. The absence of BC1 RNA in BC1 knockout (KO) animals causes translational dysregulation that entails neuronal phenotypic alterations including prolonged epileptiform discharges, audiogenic seizure activity in vivo, and excessive cortical oscillations in the γ frequency band. Here we asked whether BC1 RNA control is also required for higher brain functions such as learning, memory, or cognition. To address this question, we used odor/object attentional set shifting tasks in which prefrontal cortical performance was assessed in a series of discrimination and conflict learning sessions. Results obtained in these behavioral trials indicate that BC1 KO animals were significantly impaired in their cognitive flexibility. When faced with conflicting information sources, BC1 KO animals committed regressive errors as they were compromised in their ability to disengage from recently acquired memories even though recall of such memories was in conflict with new situational context. The observed cognitive deficits are reminiscent of those previously described in subtypes of human autism spectrum disorders.
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 278-288; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045112.117

Abstract:
Using a hippocampus-dependent contextual threat learning and memory task, we report widespread, coordinated DNA methylation changes in CA1 hippocampus of Sprague-Dawley rats specific to threat learning at genes involved in synaptic transmission. Experience-dependent alternations in gene expression and DNA methylation were observed as early as 1 h following memory acquisition and became more pronounced after 24 h. Gene ontology analysis revealed significant enrichment of functional categories related to synaptic transmission in genes that were hypomethylated at 24 h following threat learning. Integration of these data sets with previously characterized epigenetic and transcriptional changes in brain disease states suggested significant overlap between genes regulated by memory formation and genes altered in memory-related neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases. These findings provide a comprehensive resource to aid in the identification of memory-relevant therapeutic targets. Our results shed new light on the gene expression and DNA methylation changes involved in memory formation, confirming that these processes are dynamic and experience-dependent. Finally, this work provides a roadmap for future studies to identify linkage of memory-associated genes to altered disease states.
, Hayley J. Marshall, , Helen J. Cassaday
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 310-317; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044784.116

Abstract:
Previous in vivo electrophysiological studies suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex (ACgx) is an important substrate of novel object recognition (NOR) memory. However, intervention studies are needed to confirm this conclusion and permanent lesion studies cannot distinguish effects on encoding and retrieval. The interval between encoding and retrieval tests may also be a critical determinant of the role of the ACgx. The current series of experiments used micro-infusion of the GABAA receptor agonist, muscimol, into ACgx to reversibly inactivate the area and distinguish its role in encoding and retrieval. ACgx infusions of muscimol, before encoding did not alter NOR assessed after a delay of 20 min or 24 h. However, when infused into the ACgx before retrieval muscimol impaired NOR assessed after a delay of 24 h, but not after a 20-min retention test. Together these findings suggest that the ACgx plays a time-dependent role in the retrieval, but not the encoding, of NOR memory, neuronal activation being required for the retrieval of remote (24 h old), but not recent (20 min old) visual memory.
Rong-Yu Liu, Curtis Neveu, Paul Smolen, Leonard J. Cleary,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 289-297; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044834.116

Abstract:
Developing treatment strategies to enhance memory is an important goal of neuroscience research. Activation of multiple biochemical signaling cascades, such as the protein kinase A (PKA) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways, is necessary to induce long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF), a correlate of long-term memory (LTM). Previously, a computational model was developed which correctly predicted a novel enhanced training protocol that augmented LTF by searching for the protocol with maximal overlap of PKA and ERK activation. The present study focused on pharmacological approaches to enhance LTF. Combining an ERK activator, NSC, and a PKA activator, rolipram, enhanced LTF to a greater extent than did either drug alone. An even greater increase in LTF occurred when rolipram and NSC were combined with the Enhanced protocol. These results indicate superior memory can be achieved by enhanced protocols that take advantage of the structure and dynamics of the biochemical cascades underlying memory formation, used in conjunction with combinatorial pharmacology.
Mariana Alonso, , Martín Cammarota, , ,
Published: 1 September 2005
Learning & Memory, Volume 12, pp 504-510; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.27305

Abstract:
Information storage in the brain is a temporally graded process involving different memory phases as well as different structures in the mammalian brain. Cortical plasticity seems to be essential to store stable long-term memories, although little information is available at the moment regarding molecular and cellular events supporting memory consolidation in the neocortex. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates both short-term synaptic function and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in hippocampal and cortical neurons. We have recently demonstrated that endogenous BDNF in the hippocampus is involved in memory formation. Here we examined the role of BDNF in the parietal cortex (PCx) in short-term (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) formation of a one-trial fear-motivated learning task in rats. Bilateral infusions of function-blocking anti-BDNF antibody into the PCx impaired both STM and LTM retention scores and decreased the phosphorylation state of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB). In contrast, intracortical administration of recombinant human BDNF facilitated LTM and increased CREB activation. Moreover, inhibitory avoidance training is associated with a rapid and transient increase in phospho-CREB/total CREB ratio in the PCx. Thus, our results indicate that endogenous BDNF is required for both STM and LTM formation of inhibitory avoidance learning, possibly involving CREB activation-dependent mechanisms. The present data support the idea that early sensory areas constitute important components of the networks subserving memory formation and that information processing in neocortex plays an important role in memory formation.
, Ullrich Wagner,
Published: 1 January 2005
Learning & Memory, Volume 12, pp 44-51; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.83805

Abstract:
Recognition memory is considered to be supported by two different memory processes, i.e., the explicit recollection of information about a previous event and an implicit process of recognition based on an acontextual sense of familiarity. Both types of memory supposedly rely on distinct memory systems. Sleep is known to enhance the consolidation of memories, with the different sleep stages affecting different types of memory. In the present study, we used the process-dissociation procedure to compare the effects of sleep on estimates of explicit (recollection) and implicit (familiarity) memory formation on a word-list discrimination task. Subjects studied two lists of words before a 3-h retention interval of sleep or wakefulness, and recognition was tested afterward. The retention intervals were positioned either in the early night when sleep is dominated by slow-wave sleep (SWS), or in the late night, when sleep is dominated by REM sleep. Sleep enhanced explicit recognition memory, as compared with wakefulness (P< 0.05), whereas familiarity was not affected by sleep. Moreover, explicit recognition was particularly enhanced after sleep in the early-night retention interval, and especially when the words were presented with the same contextual features as during learning, i.e., in the same font (P< 0.05). The data indicate that in a task that allows separating the contribution of explicit and implicit memory, sleep particularly supports explicit memory formation. The mechanism of this effect appears to be linked to SWS.
Albrecht P. A. Vorster,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 252-256; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.045054.117

Abstract:
Sleep supports memory consolidation as shown in mammals and invertebrates such as bees and Drosophila. Here, we show that sleep's memory function is preserved in Aplysia californica with an even simpler nervous system. Animals performed on an inhibitory conditioning task (“learning that a food is inedible”) three times, at Training, Retrieval 1, and Retrieval 2, with 17-h intervals between tests. Compared with Wake animals, remaining awake between Training and Retrieval 1, Sleep animals with undisturbed post-training sleep, performed significantly better at Retrieval 1 and 2. Control experiments testing retrieval only after ∼34 h, confirmed the consolidating effect of sleep occurring within 17 h after training.
John S. Hernandez, Marcy L. Wainwright,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 257-261; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044883.116

Abstract:
In Aplysia, long-term sensitization (LTS) occurs concurrently with a suppression of feeding. At the cellular level, the suppression of feeding is accompanied by decreased excitability of decision-making neuron B51. We examined the contribution of voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels to B51 decreased excitability. In a pharmacologically isolated Na+ channels environment, LTS training significantly increased B51 firing threshold, compared with untrained controls. Conversely, in a pharmacologically isolated K+ channels environment, no differences were observed between trained and untrained animals in either amplitude or area of B51 K+-dependent depolarizations. These findings suggest that Na+ channels contribute to the decrease in B51 excitability induced by LTS training.
Don A. Davies, Jessica L. Hurtubise, Quentin Greba,
Learning & Memory, Volume 24, pp 262-266; https://doi.org/10.1101/lm.044750.116

Abstract:
The trial-unique, delayed nonmatching-to-location (TUNL) task is a recently developed behavioral task that measures spatial working memory and a form of pattern separation in touchscreen-equipped operant conditioning chambers. Limited information exists regarding the neurotransmitters and neural substrates involved in the task. The present experiments tested the effects of systemic and intracranial injections of NMDA receptor antagonists on the TUNL task. After training, male Long Evans rats systemically injected with the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist CPP (10 mg/kg) had impaired accuracy regardless of the degree of stimuli separation or length of delay between the sample and test phases. Injections of Ro 25-6981 (6 or 10 mg/kg), an antagonist selective for GluN2B subunit-containing NMDA receptors, did not affect accuracy on the task. Direct infusion of the competitive NMDA receptor antagonist AP5 into mPFC or dmSTR reduced overall accuracy on the TUNL task. These results demonstrate that TUNL task performance depends on NMDA receptors within the mPFC and dmSTR.
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