Neuronal unit activity in the abducens nucleus during classical conditioning of the nictitating membrane response in the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

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Recorded neuronal unit activity from the abducens (6th nerve) nucleus during conditioning of the nictitating membrane (NM) response in 16 male New Zealand white rabbits, using a tone CS, an air puff UCS, 250-msec interstimulus interval, and 60-sec intertrial interval. Ss were given 2 days of training (104 trials in 8 blocks/day) and 1 day of extinction. Control Ss were given comparable periods of stimulus presentations, explicitly unpaired. Activity of small clusters of units--multiple unit recording--was compared with the amplitude/time course of NM response. Between-blocks comparisons of neural and behavioral responses indicated almost perfect correlation during acquisition of the CR and a slightly lower correlation during extinction for the conditioning Ss. Within-blocks comparisons indicated close correspondence between histograms of unit activity and the amplitude/time course of the NM response for the conditioning Ss in all phases of training and for controls in the UCS trial blocks. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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