Emergence of conditioned cardiac responses to an olfactory CS paired with an acoustic startle UCS during development: form and autonomic origins.Dev Psychobiol. 1997 Mar; 30(2):151-63.DP
Pairing an olfactory conditioned stimulus (CS) with an acoustic startle unconditioned stimulus (UCS) produced conditioned bradycardia in rats ranging from 12 days of age to adulthood but failed to produce conditioning in 10-day-olds (Experiment 1). The second experiment compared the effects of two different UCSs, acoustic startle and electric shock. The startle UCS produced conditioned bradycardia accompanied by immobility. In contrast, the shock UCS produced conditioned tachycardia accompanied by behavioral activation. Pharmacological analysis revealed that activation of the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) produced the conditioned bradycardia (Experiment 3) and that activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) produced the conditioned tachycardia (Hunt, Hess, & Campbell, 1994). Further comparisons revealed that the startle UCS established conditioning several days earlier in development than the shock UCS. The ability of the PNS to respond to phasic stimulation earlier in development than the SNS was discussed as a possible mechanism for the early development of conditioned bradycardia.