The Brain Substrates Of The Classically Conditioned Nm Response In The Rabbit

Since the early 1970s, Thompson and many others have used a variety of methods to search for the classically conditioned NM response engram. A neuronal circuit diagram has been systematically constructed during the course of 20 years to represent all the brain structures that are essential for the acquisition and retention of the classically conditioned NM response for the delay conditioning paradigm. This circuit is the most thoroughly investigated and completely understood learning and memory circuit known for the mammalian brain. The essential site of plasticity (i.e., the location of the engram) appears to be the interpositus nucleus of the cerebellum, although the cerebellar cortex is also important.

A. Components of the Circuit

Figure 2 is a neuronal circuit diagram that represents all the brain components that are essential for the acquisition and retention of the CR.

Care Circuit The Brain

Figure 2 The cerebellar neural circuit for delay eyeblink/nictitating membrane (NM) classical conditioning. The focus of this diagram is on the relationships between the conditioned stimulus (tone CS), unconditioned stimulus (airpuff US), conditioned response (CR), unconditioned response (UR), and their connecting fiber pathways. The cerebellar cortex in the diagram consists of granule cells, parallel fibers, and Purkinje cells. Cerebellar structures in the diagram include the cerebellar cortex and interpositus nucleus. All other structures depicted are located in the brain stem. Pairing of the CS and US results in an essential plastic change in the interpositus nucleus that results in the generation of the CR.

Figure 2 The cerebellar neural circuit for delay eyeblink/nictitating membrane (NM) classical conditioning. The focus of this diagram is on the relationships between the conditioned stimulus (tone CS), unconditioned stimulus (airpuff US), conditioned response (CR), unconditioned response (UR), and their connecting fiber pathways. The cerebellar cortex in the diagram consists of granule cells, parallel fibers, and Purkinje cells. Cerebellar structures in the diagram include the cerebellar cortex and interpositus nucleus. All other structures depicted are located in the brain stem. Pairing of the CS and US results in an essential plastic change in the interpositus nucleus that results in the generation of the CR.

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