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Behavioural Brain Research 176 (2007) 244250 Research report

Summary: Behavioural Brain Research 176 (2007) 244­250
Research report
Cocaine and Pavlovian fear conditioning: Dose­effect analysis
Suzanne C. Wooda,, Jonathan Faya, Jennifer R. Sagea, Stephan G. Anagnostarasa,b
a Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive 0109, LaJolla, CA 92093-0109, United States
b Neurosciences Program, University of California, San Diego 92093-0109, United States
Received 12 January 2006; received in revised form 5 October 2006; accepted 7 October 2006
Available online 13 November 2006
Emerging evidence suggests that cocaine and other drugs of abuse can interfere with many aspects of cognitive functioning. The authors
examined the effects of 0.1­15 mg/kg of cocaine on Pavlovian contextual and cued fear conditioning in mice. As expected, pre-training cocaine
dose-dependently produced hyperactivity and disrupted freezing. Surprisingly, when the mice were tested off-drug later, the group pre-treated with
a moderate dose of cocaine (15 mg/kg) displayed significantly less contextual and cued memory, compared to saline control animals. Conversely,
mice pre-treated with a very low dose of cocaine (0.1 mg/kg) showed significantly enhanced fear memory for both context and tone, compared to
controls. These results were not due to cocaine's anesthetic effects, as shock reactivity was unaffected by cocaine. The data suggest that despite
cocaine's reputation as a performance-enhancing and anxiogenic drug, this effect is seen only at very low doses, whereas a moderate dose disrupts
hippocampus and amygdala-dependent fear conditioning.
© 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Hippocampus; Amygdala; Freezing; Memory
A growing body of evidence supports the view that drugs of


Source: Anagnostaras, Stephan - Neurosciences Program & Department of Psychology, University of California at San Diego


Collections: Biology and Medicine