(provided by candidate): Studies of Pavlovian conditioning inform scientists about situations that lead to maladaptive learning, and behavioral therapies that might correct maladaptive learning. Important public health issues such as drug abuse, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders are addressed by studies of simple appetitive and aversive conditioning. However, this research generally involves the study of direct learning between a conditioned stimulus and a rewarding or aversive unconditioned stimulus. This focus ignores many situations in which animals can acquire an association between two events that are not directly experienced in close contiguity. The work under this proposal will incorporate immediate early genes, taste reactivity, inactivation, and lesion techniques to investigate the neural substrates of mediated learning. Immediate early gene assessment will be used to compare the brain areas activated by associatively-activated and directly-activated stimulus representations. In addition, the activity that is produced by a stimulus that is capable of supporting mediated learning will be compared to the activity produced by a stimulus that does not support mediated learning. Lesion and temporary inactivation studies will specifically target the role of the basolateral amygdala in mediated learning.
|Wheeler, Daniel S; Chang, Stephen E; Holland, Peter C (2013) Odor-mediated taste learning requires dorsal hippocampus, but not basolateral amygdala activity. Neurobiol Learn Mem 101:1-7|
|Scarlet, Janina; Delamater, Andrew R; Campese, Vincent et al. (2012) Differential involvement of the basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex in the formation of sensory-specific associations in conditioned flavor preference and magazine approach paradigms. Eur J Neurosci 35:1799-809|