Dissociation of behavioral and neural correlates of early associative learning.Dev Psychobiol. 1995 May; 28(4):213-9.DP
Wistar rat pups were trained in an olfactory associative conditioning task on postnatal Day 6, 12, or 20. The training consisted of 20 pairings of a novel odor (peppermint) with footshock (1.5 mA, 1 s) with an intertrial interval of 3 min. Additional pups were trained in either unpaired or naive control conditions. On the day following training, pups were either tested for their behavioral response to the conditioned odor in a two-odor choice test, or injected with 14C-2-deoxyglucose and exposed to the odor for examination of olfactory bulb neural responses to the odor. The results demonstrate that, although pups at all ages learned to avoid the odor, only pups trained during the first postnatal week had a modified olfactory-bulb glomerular-layer response to the odor. These results suggest that although olfactory memory is correlated with modification of olfactory bulb glomerular layer function in newborns, these changes are not required for normal memory in older pups.